AFI Movie Club: MOONLIGHT – American Film Institute



MOONLIGHT, a poetic tour de force, was one of the 2016 AFI AWARD honorees and “illuminates the peerless power of cinema to inspire empathy for others and embrace a greater understanding of ourselves.” 


Movie Trivia for MOONLIGHT:

DID YOU KNOW MOONLIGHT is based on an unpublished play written by Tarell Alvin McCraney called “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”? 

DID YOU KNOW a housing project in Miami called Liberty Square was chosen as one of the primary filming locations as both executive producer Tarell Alvin McCraney and director Barry Jenkins grew up in that area? 

DID YOU KNOW English actress Naomie Harris only had three days to shoot all of her scenes for MOONLIGHT due to a work visa issue? Those three days of work garnered her an Academy Award® nomination – her first! 

DID YOU KNOW director Barry Jenkins would not let the three actors playing the part of Chiron meet until after filming? He wanted to avoid having any individual actor influence the portrayal of the others. 

DID YOU KNOW that, in the scene of Juan teaching Little how to swim, Mahershala Ali was actually teaching Alex R. Hibbert how to swim? Hibbert did not know how to swim before the scene was shot in the Atlantic Ocean. 

DID YOU KNOW Janelle Monáe made her live action feature film debut as Teresa in MOONLIGHT? 

DID YOU KNOW that MOONLIGHT is the lowest-budgeted film to win the Academy Award® for Best Picture since ROCKY in 1976? 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.


The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions 

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below. 

-How does Paula’s addiction affect Chiron’s life in each chapter of MOONLIGHT? 

-What is the significance of the swimming lesson scene in the movie? 

-What is it about silence that makes many scenes in MOONLIGHT so poignant? 

-What does Black’s tough physical exterior represent? 

-Why is there difference between someone’s external persona and their internal self? 

-How would you rate MOONLIGHT? 


Watch director Barry Jenkins talk about filming MOONLIGHT in this AFI Archive exclusive video:



New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

In this time when we are reminded “There’s no place like home,” AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.


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Comments (1)

General Public Users, Do not delete

Moonlight is one of those “sleeper” movies!

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