British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed won his first Oscar for the critically acclaimed live action short film The Long Goodbye, which he co-wrote with Aneil Karia. Riz was nominated last year for his performance in the film Sound of Metal.
In his acceptance speech, the actor spoke about all those who “feel like they don’t belong”, honouring his immigrant roots. Riz shared while accepting the Oscar, “You know, in such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us that there is no us and them, there’s just us. This is for everyone who feels like they don’t belong and anyone who feels like they’re stuck in a no man’s land, you’re not alone, we’ll meet you there. That’s where the future is.”
CODA, a feel-good indie drama about a deaf family defying the odds, pulled off a stunning upset to scoop the top prize at the Oscars Sunday, becoming the first-ever streaming film to win best picture.
Taking its title from the acronym for child of deaf adult, CODA follows high school teen Ruby as she juggles her musical ambitions with her family’s dependence on her to communicate with the hearing world.
The film bested tough competition to secure Apple the much-coveted gong, pipping streaming rivals including Netflix as well as Hollywood’s traditional studios, and delivering a landmark win for disability representation on the silver screen.
“Thank you to the academy for letting our CODA make history tonight,” said producer Philippe Rousselet.
CODA was released by Apple TV+ after a bidding war at last year’s Sundance independent film festival, where it fetched a record $25 million.
Here are the winners in key categories for the 94th Academy Awards, handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday. Deaf drama CODA won for best picture, Will Smith and Jessica Chastain took home acting awards, but Dune was the overall big winner with trophies in six categories including best original score and best cinematography.
Best picture: CODA
Best director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Best actor: Will Smith, King Richard
Best actress: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best supporting actor: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Best supporting actress: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Best international feature film: Drive My Car (Japan)
Best animated feature: Encanto
Best documentary feature: Summer of Soul
Best original screenplay: Belfast – Kenneth Branagh
Best adapted screenplay: CODA – Sian Heder
Best original score: Dune – Hans Zimmer
Best original song: No Time to Die from No Time to Die – Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Best live action short: The Long Goodbye – Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia