Apple is the first streaming service to win Best Picture Oscar

The film CODA, an Apple TV+ original, has been crowned the first Best Picture at the Oscars by a streaming service. It further took a historical win for Best Supporting Actor, as Troy Kotsur became the first Deaf male actor to win an Oscar. Writer and director Sian Heder also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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The film, with a mostly Deaf cast, follows Ruby (played Emilia Jones), a high school student who navigates life as the only hearing member of a Deaf family in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

“This is a really big moment for the Deaf community. It’s a really big moment for the disability community,” said Heder in a backstage interview. “Marlee Matlin won an Oscar 35 years ago, and not that much has changed in Hollywood, so I want to thank the Academy for making that change. Let this one be the first of many, many films to come out of this beautiful community.”

The film went head-to-head with another streaming film also a favourite to win Best Picture, Netflix’s The Power of the Dog. Apple paid $25 million for the distribution rights of the film, which is currently on the Apple+ platform and was released to a small, select number of theatres.

Although it lost out on Best Picture, Netflix did really well at the awards. Jane Campion took a historic Best Director Oscar for The Power of the Dog, becoming only the third woman to win the award. The Power of the Dog was nominated for 12 Oscars, including in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories, but Campion was the only winner. In total, Netflix had 27 nominations for this year’s Academy Awards.

Sci-fi fared particularly well at this year’s Oscars. Dune, released simultaneously in the US on HBO Max and in theatres, won no less than six Oscars.