Moonlight is SEFCA’s Top 2016 film; Jeff Nichols takes his third Wyatt Award

December 19, 2016

The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) has named ‘Moonlight’ the Best Film of 2016.

Writer/director Barry Jenkins’ poetic depiction of a gay black man as a child, teenager and adult earned multiple awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, Best Ensemble, Best Adapted Screenplay and a tie for Best Director with Damien Chazelle of ‘La La Land.’ ‘Moonlight’ was also the

A still from Moonlight.

A still from Moonlight.

runner-up in the categories for Best Supporting Actress (for Naomie Harris), Best Cinematography and the Wyatt Award for the Spirit of the South. [Complete list of winners at end of story.]

“At a time when expensive, heavily-marketed ‘popcorn movies’ dominate the cultural conversation about cinema, the ability of a small, quiet and personal film like ‘Moonlight’ to break through can give film fans hope for the future,” says SEFCA president Curt Holman.

Casey Affleck won Best Actor for his performance as a grieving handyman returning to his hometown under tragic circumstances in ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ Natalie Portman won Best Actress for her turn as First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy dealing with her husband’s assassination in ‘Jackie.’ Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for ‘Fences,’ reprising a role for which she’d already received a Tony Award for her Broadway performance.

Other winners include ‘Manchester by the Sea’ for Best Original Screenplay, the portrait of James Baldwin ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ for Best Documentary, the twisty Gothic romance ‘The Handmaiden’ for Best Foreign Language film, the humorous but surprisingly relevant ‘Zootopia’ for Best Animated Film and the splashy musical homage ‘La La Land’ for Best Cinematography.

‘Loving,’ writer/director Jeff Nichols’ exploration of the Supreme Court’s “Loving v. Virginia” decision, won the Wyatt Award in recognition of a film that best embodies the spirit of the South.

The association’s 25th annual awards saw ballots from 53 members, all film journalists working in print, radio and on-line media in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

“We’d like to dedicate the 2016 awards to the memories of Jim Ridley and Ken Hanke, SEFCA members who passed away this year, says Holman. “They will be missed.”

TOP TEN FILMS

1. Moonlight

2. Manchester by the Sea

3. La La Land

4. Hell or High Water

5. Loving

6. Arrival

7. (Tie) Fences and Jackie

8. Nocturnal Animals

9. Hidden Figures

BEST ACTOR

Winner – Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Runner-up – Denzel Washington (Fences)

BEST ACTRESS

Winner – Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Runner-up – Ruth Negga (Loving)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner – Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Runner-up – Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner – Viola Davis (Fences)

Runner-up – Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

BEST ENSEMBLE

Winner – Moonlight

Runner-up – Manchester by the Sea

BEST DIRECTOR

Winner (tie) – Damien Chazelle, (La La Land)

Winner (tie) – Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Winner – Manchester by the Sea

Runner-up – Hell or High Water

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Winner – Moonlight

Runner-up – Arrival

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Winner – I Am Not Your Negro

Runner-up – OJ: Made in America

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Winner – The Handmaiden

Runner-up – Elle

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Winner – Zootopia

Runner-up – Kubo and the Two Strings

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Winner – La La Land

Runner-up – Moonlight

The GENE WYATT AWARD

Winner – Loving

Runner-up – Moonlight


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