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CODA makes history at the 94th Academy Awards

April 8, 2022

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CODA, the Apple TV+  coming-of-age film, won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards on September 27 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Gallaudet alumnus Troy Kotsur, E-’92, was named Best Supporting Actor, joining Marlee Matlin, H-’87, as the only two deaf people in history to win Academy Awards.

Kotsur won over Ciarán Hinds (Belfast), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), J. K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog). The outcome was hardly in doubt, as he had received the same recognition at several other awards shows this season. In his acceptance speech, Kotsur dedicated his award “to the deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community…This is our moment.”

Kotsur’s hometown, Mesa, Arizona, honored him with a mayoral proclamation and lamppost signage. The city of Duluth, Minnesota, similarly honored Daniel Durant, E-’15, who played Kotsur’s character’s son in the film.

Pre- and post-Oscars media coverage was extensive, and Kotsur’s ties to Gallaudet were prominently featured in several articles. See Media Hits below for a sampling. 

CODA cast members Kotsur, Matlin, Durant, and Emilia Jones paid a surprise visit to Gallauet on September 22. They participated in a panel discussion moderated by Nikolya Sereda, ’19, and posed for photographs with President Cordano. They also met with U.S. President Joseph Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the White House, and visited the Apple Store at Carnegie Library.

CODA, which was originally streamed on Apple TV+,  is now playing in theaters nationwide. Locally, it is being shown at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 630 Rhode Island Avenue NE, from today through April 13.

8 April 2022

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Robert Weinstock

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