Los Angeles, March 28: Streaming portal Apple made history by nabbing Hollywood’s most coveted honour, as ‘CODA’ won the Oscar for best picture at the 94th Academy Awards.
Apple Original Films’ ‘CODA’ marks the first time a streaming service has won the best picture Oscar, beating rival Netflix to the punch.
‘CODA’ took the top prize over Netflix’s ‘The Power of the Dog’ from director Jane Campion, which was the other leading contender in the category, reports ‘Variety’.
In addition, ‘CODA’ star Troy Kotsur won the supporting actor trophy, marking the first time a deaf male actor received an acting Oscar, and the second Deaf actor ever to do so after ‘CODA’ co-star Marlee Matlin won for ‘Children of a Lesser God’ in 1986.
In the film’s third win of the night, ‘CODA’ director Sian Heder won in the adapted screenplay category.
‘CODA’ also made history as the first Sundance Film Festival movie to take home the Oscars best picture prize. And it’s the first film to win best picture without having been nominated in the directing and editing categories.
Apple is estimated to have spent more than $10 million on the Oscars campaign for the film.
In the film, Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones) is a child of deaf adults, or ‘CODA’, the only hearing member of her family. After she discovers a passion and talent for singing, Ruby is torn between her obligations to the family fishing business and pursuing her musical dreams. Kotsur and Matlin play her parents, and Daniel Durant co-stars as her brother, Leo.
Apple acquired the rights to ‘CODA’ for $25 million after a bidding war following its premiere at Sundance last year. The film, produced by Vendome Pictures and Pathe, premiered on Apple TV Plus in August 2021.
Leading up to its Oscars victory, ‘CODA’ won the top film prize at the Producers Guild Awards; best adapted screenplay at the BAFTA Awards and Writers Guild of America Awards; and best ensemble at the SAG Awards.
At last year’s Sundance, it won a record of four awards: the special jury award for ensemble cast, the directing award, the audience award and the grand jury prize.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged that the tech giant is prioritising prestige over profits for its streaming originals.
“We don’t make purely financial decisions about the content (on Apple TV Plus),” he told analysts during the company’s January 27 earnings call.
“We try to find great content that has a reason for being.”