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“Moonlight” Feels Right

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The Academy Awards are approaching, and Florida should be taking notice.


Moonlight is a frontrunner for several Oscars, coming in with eight nominations, but it has already been nominated for 250-some odd prestigious film awards, and has already won 96, including the Robert Altman Independent Spirit Award.


This is a Florida film, born and raised—filmed in Miami, and written and directed by Florida State University alumnus Barry Jenkins.


Beyond being proud of something that is winning critics awards left and right and maintaining a massive approval rating on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, this is an important moment for us as an art form and industry.


See, film is art. It is also work for many people, and Florida is in a constant battle to maintain a film incentive program. Programs that pave the way for films and TV shows to want to set up shop in the Sunshine State give a major immediate and continual boost to our economy.


When The Truman Show was filmed in my sleepy little beach town, we saw the impact—the heads in hotels, the locals hired, and the extra tourists curious about the film’s fictional town of Seahaven.


The entertainment industry is connected to many corners, with fingers that reach out further than seats in movie theaters. Films like Moonlight, and the accolades it is earning, give me hope that Florida can continue to grow as an entertainment hub.


Here’s to Moonlight. May the Oscars shine on you and Florida.

– Nikki Hedrick



This article originally appeared in slightly different form at and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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