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Oscar winning 'Moonlight' shines on Miami's Liberty City

Oscar winning film "Moonlight" presents a view of Miami that never shows up in a tourism video. Far from the sun and glamour of South Beach or the artists and hipsters of Wynwood, it shows predominantly black communities, truly known by few outside the people who live there.

And it's recognizably their Miami, made beautiful and suddenly more hopeful than it might have seemed before.

"The best thing about this movie is they actually went into the projects and shot it, and they let kids from around Liberty City be in it," said Kamal Ani-Bello, a freshman at Miami Northwestern Senior High School who had a role as an extra in the film. "Usually people make 'hoods on movie sets, but this actually shows the real thing — and that's why it won best picture."

"Moonlight" won the Academy Award Sunday night for best picture, best supporting actor and best adapted screenplay. It was nominated in five additional categories. It follows the life of a young black man as he grows up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood while coming to terms with his own homosexuality.

Director Barry Jenkins "came from the same grounds I came from, from the same city," said Larry Anderson, a Miami Northwestern junior who also had a role as an extra. Jenkins graduated from the same high school and had roots in a public housing project nicknamed "Pork & Beans" familiar to many students.

"Knowing that he came from the same — not just Miami, but Liberty City, same Pork & Beans, Miami Northwestern and the same programs that I've been part of, it tells me I can achieve in the same way as him," Anderson said.

Jenkins' wrote the screenplay for "Moonlight" with Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play on which the film is based. McCraney grew up in the same neighborhoods as Jenkins and attended the New World School of the Arts.

"This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming who don't see themselves," McCraney said during the ceremony.

Natalie Baldie, artistic director of the Performing and Visual Arts Center at Miami Northwestern, said she hopes the movie and its awards give students another perspective about getting out of Liberty City or going to college.

"It's giving them hope to get through and something to look forward to," Baldie said, sitting with Ani-Bello, Anderson and senior Amanda Ali, who also was an extra in the film. "We're used to seeing something about violence or rap music or athletes going to the NFL and things of that nature."

The film's theme of self-acceptance is one students and the community overall particularly need to hear, she added.

Ali said she hadn't been entirely aware of how "grown-up" the movie would be, "but that's good because it shows the truth."

The success of "Moonlight" also resonated Monday at Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens, where part of the film is set. Two young actors featured prominently in the film, Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner, are Norland students, and about a dozen others were extras in the film.

Parents called and emailed Principal Ronald Redmon throughout the day to express pride in a program showing the talent coming Miami, he said.

"Today everyone beamed with pride. Parents were dropping off their kids with their horns blowing," Redmon said.

Graham Winick, the city of Miami Beach's film coordinator and a past president of Film Florida, called the success of "Moonlight" a cultural high-water mark for Miami and Florida, comparable to hosting an international art fair like Art Basel Miami Beach or preserving the area's signature Art Deco architecture. He pointed out that the film was made for just a fraction of the marketing budget for some of the films it was up against.

"That movie was $1.5 million in the can, and it looked amazing," Winick said. "It didn't have movie stars, but it still hit a nerve and got a release. People believed in it."

___

Associated Press writer David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.

Oscar winning 'Moonlight' shines on Miami's Liberty City

Oscar winning film "Moonlight" presents a view of Miami that never shows up in a tourism video. Far from the sun and glamour of South Beach or the artists and hipsters of Wynwood, it shows predominantly black communities, truly known by few outside the people who live there.

And it's recognizably their Miami, made beautiful and suddenly more hopeful than it might have seemed before.

"The best thing about this movie is they actually went into the projects and shot it, and they let kids from around Liberty City be in it," said Kamal Ani-Bello, a freshman at Miami Northwestern Senior High School who had a role as an extra in the film. "Usually people make 'hoods on movie sets, but this actually shows the real thing — and that's why it won best picture."

"Moonlight" won the Academy Award Sunday night for best picture, best supporting actor and best adapted screenplay. It was nominated in five additional categories. It follows the life of a young black man as he grows up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood while coming to terms with his own homosexuality.

Director Barry Jenkins "came from the same grounds I came from, from the same city," said Larry Anderson, a Miami Northwestern junior who also had a role as an extra. Jenkins graduated from the same high school and had roots in a public housing project nicknamed "Pork & Beans" familiar to many students.

"Knowing that he came from the same — not just Miami, but Liberty City, same Pork & Beans, Miami Northwestern and the same programs that I've been part of, it tells me I can achieve in the same way as him," Anderson said.

Jenkins' wrote the screenplay for "Moonlight" with Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play on which the film is based. McCraney grew up in the same neighborhoods as Jenkins and attended the New World School of the Arts.

"This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming who don't see themselves," McCraney said during the ceremony.

Natalie Baldie, artistic director of the Performing and Visual Arts Center at Miami Northwestern, said she hopes the movie and its awards give students another perspective about getting out of Liberty City or going to college.

"It's giving them hope to get through and something to look forward to," Baldie said, sitting with Ani-Bello, Anderson and senior Amanda Ali, who also was an extra in the film. "We're used to seeing something about violence or rap music or athletes going to the NFL and things of that nature."

The film's theme of self-acceptance is one students and the community overall particularly need to hear, she added.

Ali said she hadn't been entirely aware of how "grown-up" the movie would be, "but that's good because it shows the truth."

The success of "Moonlight" also resonated Monday at Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens, where part of the film is set. Two young actors featured prominently in the film, Alex Hibbert and Jaden Piner, are Norland students, and about a dozen others were extras in the film.

Parents called and emailed Principal Ronald Redmon throughout the day to express pride in a program showing the talent coming Miami, he said.

"Today everyone beamed with pride. Parents were dropping off their kids with their horns blowing," Redmon said.

Graham Winick, the city of Miami Beach's film coordinator and a past president of Film Florida, called the success of "Moonlight" a cultural high-water mark for Miami and Florida, comparable to hosting an international art fair like Art Basel Miami Beach or preserving the area's signature Art Deco architecture. He pointed out that the film was made for just a fraction of the marketing budget for some of the films it was up against.

"That movie was $1.5 million in the can, and it looked amazing," Winick said. "It didn't have movie stars, but it still hit a nerve and got a release. People believed in it."

___

Associated Press writer David Fischer in Miami contributed to this report.

Part of Rio Carnival float collapses, injuring 12

The top of a float collapsed during Rio de Janeiro's world famous Carnival parade early Tuesday, injuring at least 12 people, officials said.

The incident involved the second float of the popular samba school Unidos da Tijuca, themed around the Carnival in New Orleans. Revelers cried on the pavement and in the stands as injured people were removed by rescuers.

Police were investigating the cause of the accident.

Rio state health secretary said in a statement that among the 12 injured at the city's Sambadrome, nine were taken to local hospitals. Health officials also said eight people sought medical attention due to stress.

Rio City hall said two people were in serious condition. One suffered a head trauma, according to one doctor.

The parade had to be stopped for almost 25 minutes so the injured could get medical attention. The show was allowed to proceed.

Reveler Felix Souza said he was dancing next to the float when the incident happened.

"We heard a burst on the top," he said. "People started screaming, we didn't understand what it was. It was a moment of despair for all there."

Ailton Freitas, a director at Unidos da Tijuca, said their floats had been tested repeatedly before the Carnival.

"We tested three times a week with more weight than we carried today. When the parade approached we started doing those tests every day. We are even more shocked than you all are," Freitas told journalists. "I don't know what is happening, but Rio's Carnival is not being blessed this year."

Minutes earlier a smaller incident happened with samba school Mocidade Independente. A platform detached from their fourth float and dropped a reveler to the ground. The samba school said she was not injured.

On Sunday, a float belonging to samba school Paraiso de Tuiuti crashed and injured at least 20 people, including three seriously. Following that accident, organizers also decided to proceed with the show.

Oscars 'In Memoriam' tribute mistakenly uses photo of living producer

An Australian movie producer was accidentally featured in the "In Memoriam" segment at Sunday night’s Oscars despite the fact that she is “alive and well.”

According to People, an image of Jan Chapman was used to remember Janet Patterson, an Australian costume designer who died in October 2016.

>> 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced

“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson,” Chapman told Variety. “I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered.”

>> Steve Harvey reacts to epic Oscars gaffe

This came up in the In Memoriam section at #Oscars2017. But isn't this (living) Australian film producer Jan Chapman? pic.twitter.com/YKIMGBUv5E— David Berthold (@DavidBerthold) February 27, 2017

Chapman, who reportedly worked with Patterson on “The Piano” and “The Last Days of Chez Nous,” was “very disappointed” that the mistake wasn’t realized ahead of the ceremony.

>> Read more trending stories

“I am alive and well and an active producer,” she said.

Bright like a diamond: Harvard honors Rihanna's philanthropy

Harvard University thinks Rihanna shines bright like a diamond when it comes to philanthropy.

The Grammy Award-winning singer is being honored Tuesday as Harvard's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.

The university says it chose Rihanna for her involvement in a number of charitable causes. She built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer in her home nation of Barbados.

She also created the Clara Lionel Foundation scholarship program — named for her grandparents — for students from the Caribbean who attend college in the U.S.

Rihanna also supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, providing children with access to education in more than 60 developing countries.

Previous winners include actor James Earl Jones and activist Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH'-lah YOO'-suhf-zeye.)

Bright like a diamond: Harvard honors Rihanna's philanthropy

Harvard University thinks Rihanna shines bright like a diamond when it comes to philanthropy.

The Grammy Award-winning singer is being honored Tuesday as Harvard's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.

The university says it chose Rihanna for her involvement in a number of charitable causes. She built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer in her home nation of Barbados.

She also created the Clara Lionel Foundation scholarship program — named for her grandparents — for students from the Caribbean who attend college in the U.S.

Rihanna also supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, providing children with access to education in more than 60 developing countries.

Previous winners include actor James Earl Jones and activist Malala Yousafzai (mah-LAH'-lah YOO'-suhf-zeye.)

O'Reilly says he could have been clearer about Swedish guest

Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly says he could have been clearer about a man who appeared on his show last week billed as a Swedish national security adviser.

Responding to criticism from officials in Sweden and liberal observers, O'Reilly said on Monday night's episode of "The O'Reilly Factor" that he should have explained that Nils Bildt had no role in the Swedish government.

Bildt appeared on O'Reilly show Thursday, billed as a "Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor." Bildt linked Muslim immigration to the country with social problems and crime.

Critics objected to O'Reilly's use of the title, and the Swedish Defense Ministry and Foreign Office said they had no knowledge of Bildt.

O'Reilly said Monday that the criticism was valid, though Bildt is a consultant on national security matters.

O'Reilly says he could have been clearer about Swedish guest

Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly says he could have been clearer about a man who appeared on his show last week billed as a Swedish national security adviser.

Responding to criticism from officials in Sweden and liberal observers, O'Reilly said on Monday night's episode of "The O'Reilly Factor" that he should have explained that Nils Bildt had no role in the Swedish government.

Bildt appeared on O'Reilly show Thursday, billed as a "Swedish Defense and National Security Advisor." Bildt linked Muslim immigration to the country with social problems and crime.

Critics objected to O'Reilly's use of the title, and the Swedish Defense Ministry and Foreign Office said they had no knowledge of Bildt.

O'Reilly said Monday that the criticism was valid, though Bildt is a consultant on national security matters.

Jimmy Kimmel shares insights on best picture Oscar gaffe

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel shared his perspective on the show's best-picture gaffe during his Monday monologue on "Jimmy Kimmel Live !"

"As I'm sure you've at least heard, 'La La Land' was simultaneously somehow the biggest winner and loser last night," Kimmel said.

Presenters announced "La La Land" as the best picture winner at Sunday's Academy Awards, though "Moonlight" was the actual winner. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had been given the best actress envelope to open instead of best picture. The accounting firm responsible for the integrity of the awards has taken responsibility for the error and apologized to all involved.

"It was the weirdest TV finale since 'Lost,'" Kimmel cracked.

He said the plan had been for him to end the Oscar show in the audience, seated next to Matt Damon, when rumblings began that there'd been a mistake.

"We're sitting there and we notice some commotion going on," Kimmel said. "And Matt says, 'I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.' ...So you just kind of figure, well, the host will go onstage and clear this up. And then I remember, oh I'm the host."

Three "La La Land" producers gave acceptance speeches before the error was corrected and "Moonlight" received the award.

Kimmel said it was "mass confusion" when he got onstage and no one seemed sure what to do. Then Denzel Washington, sitting in the front row, got Kimmel's attention and shouted, "Barry!"

"Eventually I figured out that Barry Jenkins, the director of 'Moonlight,' is standing behind me and Denzel wanted me to get him to the microphone to make a speech, which makes sense," Kimmel said. "Thank God Denzel was there to make sense."

After ending the show, Kimmel spoke to Beatty backstage, who showed him the envelopes. Dunaway, "made quite a getaway," Kimmel said, leaving immediately after the show.

"Have any of you here ever hosted the Oscars before?" Kimmel joked with his Monday night audience. "Well, except for the end - it was a lot of fun."

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

Jimmy Kimmel shares insights on best picture Oscar gaffe

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel shared his perspective on the show's best-picture gaffe during his Monday monologue on "Jimmy Kimmel Live !"

"As I'm sure you've at least heard, 'La La Land' was simultaneously somehow the biggest winner and loser last night," Kimmel said.

Presenters announced "La La Land" as the best picture winner at Sunday's Academy Awards, though "Moonlight" was the actual winner. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had been given the best actress envelope to open instead of best picture. The accounting firm responsible for the integrity of the awards has taken responsibility for the error and apologized to all involved.

"It was the weirdest TV finale since 'Lost,'" Kimmel cracked.

He said the plan had been for him to end the Oscar show in the audience, seated next to Matt Damon, when rumblings began that there'd been a mistake.

"We're sitting there and we notice some commotion going on," Kimmel said. "And Matt says, 'I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.' ...So you just kind of figure, well, the host will go onstage and clear this up. And then I remember, oh I'm the host."

Three "La La Land" producers gave acceptance speeches before the error was corrected and "Moonlight" received the award.

Kimmel said it was "mass confusion" when he got onstage and no one seemed sure what to do. Then Denzel Washington, sitting in the front row, got Kimmel's attention and shouted, "Barry!"

"Eventually I figured out that Barry Jenkins, the director of 'Moonlight,' is standing behind me and Denzel wanted me to get him to the microphone to make a speech, which makes sense," Kimmel said. "Thank God Denzel was there to make sense."

After ending the show, Kimmel spoke to Beatty backstage, who showed him the envelopes. Dunaway, "made quite a getaway," Kimmel said, leaving immediately after the show.

"Have any of you here ever hosted the Oscars before?" Kimmel joked with his Monday night audience. "Well, except for the end - it was a lot of fun."

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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