Film Bits

SEFCA Chooses “Moonlight” as Best Picture 2016

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

 

Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight"
Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”

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 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 "Best Actor" Manchester By The Sea
Casey Affleck “Best Actor” Manchester By The Sea

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" wins SEFCA's prestigious Wyatt Award
“Loving” wins SEFCA’s prestigious Gene Wyatt Award

‘Loving,’ writer/director Jeff Nichols’ exploration of the Supreme Court’s “Loving v. Virginia” decision, won the Gene Wyatt Award in recognition of a film that best embodies the spirit of the South. Nichols previously won the Wyatt Award for his films ‘Shotgun Stories’ and ‘Mud.’

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 2016 

  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

Natalie Portman as "Jackie Kennedy" in JACKIE.
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in” JACKIE”

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

Viola Davis in "Fences"
Viola Davis in “Fences”

Winner – Viola Davis (Fences)

Runner-up – Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

BEST ENSEMBLE

Winner – Moonlight

Runner-up – Manchester by the Sea 

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle directing a scene for "La La Land"
Damien Chazelle directing a scene for “La La Land”

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

Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) being attended to by Sook-Hee (Kim Tae-ri) in THE HANDMAIDEN
Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee) being attended to by Sook-Hee (Kim Tae-ri) in THE HANDMAIDEN

Winner – The Handmaiden

Runner-up – Elle 

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Winner – Zootopia

Runner-up – Kubo and the Two Strings 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Best Cinematography "La La Land"
Best Cinematography “La La Land”

Winner – La La Land

Runner-up – Moonlight 

The GENE WYATT AWARD

"Loving" receives the Gene Wyatt SEFCA Award
“Loving” receives the Gene Wyatt Award  

Winner – Loving

Runner-up – Moonlight

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com