Watch Moonlight's director Barry Jenkins finally deliver his Oscars acceptance speech

Clarisse Loughrey

Last year's Academy Awards may have been one of the most memorable in the ceremony's history - but there was something lost in all the excitement.

Though the great Oscars gaffe - which saw La La Land mistakenly named the Best Picture winner instead of Moonlight - made for a unique close to the evening, it's important to remember exactly how historic a win Moonlight was in its own right.

Moonlight was the first Best Picture winner centered on an LGBTQ character, as well as being the lowest-budgeted; while many others have noted how it breaks out of the Academy's usual trend of only honouring black-dominated films that deal primarily with racism, in the likes of 12 Years a Slave or Driving Miss Daisy.

A momentousness somewhat lost in the confusion, robbing the Moonlight creators from a real opportunity to make their speeches in full.

At this year's South by Southwest Festival, director Barry Jenkins finally had an opportunity to deliver in public the speech he would have read out if Moonlight had been correctly announced as the winner.

"Tarell [Alvin McCraney] and I are Chiron. We are that boy," he read. "And when you watch Moonlight, you don't assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an Academy Award."

"I've said that a lot, and what I've had to admit is that I placed those limitations on myself, I denied myself that dream. Not you, not anyone else — me."

"And so, to anyone watching this who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself. Because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and, somehow through the Academy's grace, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have."

Later on in his SXSW keynote address, Jenkins added to the ideas brought up in his speech. “I have this thing I wanted to say about brick walls," he said. “I’ve run through a lot of brick walls to get to this stage. I only realized looking back that is what I’d done.

"I look back and I realize there are friends who are left on the other side of those walls. It’s a very bittersweet thing.”

During the development process, Moonlight's ambitious structure, with three actors playing the same character, was deemed "career suicide". Clearly, the risk paid off tenfold, though Jenkins wanted to note his belief that there are films as good as Moonlight out there that never got the chance to share the same level of recognition.

"Moonlight did not do what it did because I’m special,” Jenkins said. “It’s just one of the things that happened. You have to keep making the work.”

"If I cried that night, it wasn’t because we won Best Picture," he said of his Oscars win. "I cried because I realized I denied myself that dream for so long.”

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