At the 2017 Derbyite Awards, we invited our users to vote for their favorite Gold Derby editors, experts, contributors and forum posters. We also asked you to pick our Best Celebrity Interview, and that award went to Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”). Zach Laws and I talked to Jenkins in early February just a few weeks before the Oscars, which to say the least didn’t go as expected for Jenkins and the “Moonlight” team. Watch our winning video chat with Jenkins above.
We had predicted that Jenkins would win Best Adapted Screenplay with co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney, and he did. We had also bet on Mahershala Ali to take Best Supporting Actor, and we were right about that too. However, few anticipated that the last award of the night, Best Picture, would be handed to “La La Land” only to be turned over to “Moonlight” when it was discovered that there had been an envelope mix-up.
“We made the movie with no expectations,” Jenkins told us. The film about a poor, black, gay man coming of age in Miami, Florida, “is not built to engender these kinds of results. So it’s been an overwhelmingly amazing experience because it showed that people have come to the film, to meet it on its own terms, which I think is what any creative hopes for.” If that’s how it felt to be an Oscar nominee, it must be exponentially sweeter to be the Oscar winner.