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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — One of the South Florida stars of the Oscar-winning film ‘Moonlight’ is now back in the Sunshine State.

Thirteen-year-old Jaden Piner arrived at Miami International Airport from Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

CBS4 caught up with him. Piner said it was an unforgettable Oscar win.

“Depressed when they said La La Land but then they were like, no it’s Moonlight. It was like okay, they’re trying to be humble and cool about it but then they said, ‘no we’re serious.’ Me, Asha and Jerrell jumped so high and just screamed for no reason, ‘Yes, thank you,’” said Piner.

His mother was also surprised.

“I was downstairs. I wasn’t inside. When I look up at the TV and I see the big sign that says ‘Moonlight’ and I go hysterics because I’m trying to understand what’s happening here,” said Natalie Piner.

Moonlight did win “Best Picture.” It’s the coming-of-age movie about a young man growing up in Liberty City and the struggles to survive poverty, drugs and his sexuality. The recognition is very special for Jaden’s family, Liberty City and the entire community.

“Still a little surreal. My son that I’ve been watching over all his life to see the accolades and the shine he’s getting right now is still overwhelming,” said Jaden’s father Eric Piner.  “We are doing our best to keep him grounded and humble.”

Piner, a Norland Middle School student, said that for now he’ll concentrate on school but hopes to make more movies.


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