The 2023 Academy Awards were different to previous years. This year, the world saw the rise of Asian filmmakers telling their stories with so much creativity and sincerity that it revived a sense of hope that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.
Malaysian actress, Michelle Yeoh, highlighted the importance of representation during her acceptance speech when she explained that the award was, ‘for all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities.”
Yeoh made history as the first Asian woman to win the award for best actress for her role in the breathtaking film by directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Keeping up with the first, Yeoh’s co-star, Ke Huy Quan, walked away with the Oscar for best supporting actor and dedicated his award to his immigrant mother who sacrificed so much for him to realize his dreams. Everything Everywhere all at Once walked away with seven Oscars in total including the coveted award of the best original screenplay.
The spotlight was also on the Indian community as RRR, a Telegu fantasy film, won the Oscar for best original song. RRR was the first film ever from an Indian production to be nominated for an Oscar. The world was in for a treat as the song described as a “total banger” by Bollywood star, Deepika Padukone, was performed live at the awards. The Indian documentary, The Elephant Whisperers, also won the award for best documentary short film.
Throughout history, we have seen how important representation is. The 2023 Oscars have opened up the doors for aspiring creatives in the Asian community to dream even bigger than before. It’s about time!