Facebook and EA Win Video Game Industry’s First Oscar With ‘Colette’

(Photo: Oculus/Facebook)

The 93rd Academy Awards marked a series of historic moments for women, people of color, and the video game industry.

Colette, from Facebook’s Oculus Studios and EA’s Respawn Entertainment, snagged Best Documentary Short Subject on Sunday, making it the first film from a video game to win an Oscar.

Featured in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, Colette tells the real-life story of Colette Marin-Catherine, who fought the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance. After refusing to set foot in Germany for 74 years, Marin-Catherine returns with the help of history student Lucie to the concentration camp where the Nazis killed her brother in World War II.

“We knew we had something special on our hands and were determined to do Colette’s story justice,” Mike Doran, Oculus Studios director of production, wrote in a blog post.

Helmed by Anthony Giacchino, the 24-minute film premiered in 2020 at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, where it won Best Documentary Short. Following a theatrical release at Maysles Documentary Center, Colette is now streaming worldwide via The Guardian; it was recently available for free in Oculus TV on the Oculus Quest Platform.

“The real hero here is Colette herself, who has shared her story with integrity and strength. As we see in the film, resistance takes courage, but facing one’s past may take even more,” Doran said. “Allowing us to preserve this pilgrimage for future generations was a true act of bravery and trust.”

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Colette beat fellow nominees A Concerto is a Conversation from Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, Do Not Split by Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook, Hunger Ward from Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman, and A Love Song for Latasha, by Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan.

Other firsts from Sunday’s ceremony:

  • Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) became the first Chinese woman and first woman of color to win Best Director.

  • Zhao beat Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) in the first instance of two women nominated in the directing category.

  • Hairstylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) became the first Black winners of Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

  • Yuh-Jung Youn (Minari) became the first Korean (and second Asian woman) to win Best Supporting Actress.

  • Steven Yeun (Minari) was the first Asian American and Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) was the first Muslim to be nominated for Best Actor (both lost to Anthony Hopkins in The Father).

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