South Asians Riz Ahmed, Aneil Karia and Joseph Patel were among the winners of Oscars this year.
British-Pakistani actor and musician Riz Ahmed took home his first Oscar for Aneil Karia’s live-action short film ‘The Long Goodbye’. This is not the first time the 39-year-old was nominated for an Academy Award. He was in the run for his role as a hearing-impaired drummer in ‘Sound Of Metal’ last year and lost out to Anthony Hopkins. Riz won the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film, for The Long Goodbye, and producer Aneil Karia, shared that glory for the same; and Joseph Patel, producer of Oscar-winning ‘Summer of Soul’ which won the Best Original Documentary directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
The Long Goodbye has won several awards already, including the BIFA Best Short Film Award, the London Critics Circle Best Short Film Award, the Grand Prix at the Hollyshorts Film Festival, according to Karia’s eponymous website aneilkaria.com.
The story is based on Ahmed’s experiences as a British-Pakistani, and addresses the alienation of immigrants, and what can sometimes be the terrible consequences of hate speech. Karia is also an award-winning film-maker. His debut feature film 'SURGE' premiered in competition at Sundance Film Festival 2020. And he is currently engaged in producing his next feature film expected to begin shooting in late 2022, his website said.
Producer Joseph Patel has a 20-year history in film-making. Variety magazine quoted his comment upon winning the Oscar – “Riz Ahmed earlier tonight, becamse the ninth Soyth Asian to ever win an Academy Awrd. I became the tenth … Also, this will please my moth, I’m the first Patel ever to win an Oscar.”
Patel’s Summer of Soul has had some wins already before the Oscars. It won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for US Documentary at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. And according to IMDB, it has cornered several critics and guild awards, including 6 Critics Choice Documentary Awards. A journalist of long standing, Patel has produced and directed television and digital content for MTV News & Docs, Vice Media, The Fader, and Vevo.
Other South Asians who appeared in the Oscars list include the Bhutanese film, 'Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom', directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, one of the nominees for the Best International Feature Film; “Writing With Fire” nominated in the documentary category directed by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas.