#OscarsSoBlack: 'Moonlight,' 'Fences' and 'Hidden Figures' Get Nods

"Moonlight" poster.
"Moonlight" poster.A24

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By Annette Ejiofor
Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in "Moonlight."A24

With multiple nominations for actors and filmmakers of color, the two-year #OscarsSoWhite streak has finally been broken.

Moonlight” led the pack of films of color with 8 nominations, earning a best picture nod among favorites like “La La Land” and “Manchester by the Sea.”

Marhershala Ali and Naomie Harris received nominations for best actor and actress in a supporting role, respectively.

"Moonlight" also received nods for best cinematography, best film editing by Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon (McMillon becomes the first African-American woman to be recognized by the Academy for editing), best original score by Nicholas Brittel, best adapted screenplay by Barry Jenkins - with story by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

"Moonlight" was written three years ago, but as Jenkins put it, "it’s arrived right on time.”

Jenkins is now the fourth black director to be nominated for a "Best Director" Oscar (John Singleton, Lee Daniels and Steve McQueen were prior nominees).

“People respect an attempt to speak to something that’s real, that’s vital,” Jenkins told NBC News on Tuesday. "When people go to see this film… they’re coming out of it with a genuine experience”

While he was not a nominee for best director for his role in “Fences,” Denzel Washington was acknowledged for best actor. “Fences” additionally received nods for best adapted screenplay by August Wilson and best picture, with Viola Davis being nominated for best performance by an actress in a supporting role — an award she was nominated for in 2009 for "Doubt".

Hidden Figures,” received nominations for adapted screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi - with Octavia Spencer receiving best performance by an actress in a supporting role - and best picture. The movie reveals the historic accomplishments of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson; the three African-American women that helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space.

Nominations for best documentary feature included “I Am Not Your Negro” directed by Raoul Peck, “O.J.: Made in America,” directed by Ezra Edelman, and Netflix documentary “13th” directed by Ava DuVernay.

Actress Ruth Negga received a best actress nomination for her role in “Loving.” Directed by Jeff Nichols, the film brought to life the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple that fought for the right to be married, and found justice in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling where anti-miscegenation laws were overturned.

The 89th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, takes place on Sunday, February 26, live on ABC.