Vincent Schilling
Indian Country Today

Months ago, the powers that be at the Academy Awards announced that there would be no Zoom calls for Oscar recipients and nominees. The awards this year were certainly more subdued and Rolling Stone even called the lack of pomp and circumstance was “refreshing.”

There was certainly some new ground broken with Chloe Zhao’s historic Oscar win as the first woman of color for her film “Nomadland,” and many of the social media world expressed disappointment for Anthony Hopkins winning best actor award taking away the only chance Chadwick Boseman could have had to be awarded an Oscar, albeit posthumously.

The 93rd Academy Awards had a few significant moments that hit social media to include Glenn Close “doin the butt” as a non-funny flop, Daniel Kaluuya’s moving acceptance as supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Emerald Fennell winning best original screenplay for “Promising Young Woman” and Yuh-Jung Youn’s flirting with Brad Pitt when accepting her supporting actress award for “Minari.”

Native elements in commercials

During the awards ceremony, there was an Indigenous land acknowledgement for the Tongva people stated by Academy President David Rubin. New Zealand director Taika Waititi had given an acknowledgement at last year's awards.

Additionally, there were two Native moments that viewers experienced.

Navajo tribal citizen Shandiin Herrara appeared in a Verizon ad. She told Indian Country Today that she was excited to have represented her Navajo people and represent Native people at a national level.

“It was really exciting,” said Herrera. “Stories like mine, stories like ours are very seldom heard or highlighted, especially in mainstream media. It was an opportunity and I was happy to be a part of that.”

She wrote about her experience on her Instagram page which was also part of Verizon’s webcast. She expressed appreciation that her efforts with the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief was garnering attention.

“I am featured in one of seven Verizon Oscar commercials!” wrote Shandiin.

“A few weeks ago I got a cold email from Verizon’s people who found me online and wanted to learn more about me and the work I do. Before I knew it I was on a flight to L.A to tell my story. Working with directors, a film crew, etc. was all new to me, but I’m no stranger to being the only Native person in the room. However, this was different because instead of feeling unseen and unheard, the cameras were on me! Lol”

“I am extremely grateful to share our Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief story on this platform and highlight the amazing work we’ve done and continue to do! Through our collective effort we’ve been able to truly protect our communities throughout this pandemic,” wrote Herrara.

The awards show also played an ad for Taika Waititi’s and Sterlin Harjo’s “Reservation Dogs.” As Harjo told Comic Years last September, “As longtime friends, it was only natural that Taika and I found a project together, and what better than a show that celebrates the complementary storytelling styles of our indigenous communities — mine in Oklahoma and Taika’s in Aotearoa.”

The show is set to premiere this year on FX.

The full list of Academy Award winners:

Best Picture: “Nomadland”
“The Father”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”
Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Best Actress: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Best Director: Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

Best Original Song: “Fight for You,” “Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Husavik (My Hometown),” “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
“Io Si (Seen),” “The Life Ahead”
“Speak Now,” “One Night in Miami”
“Hear My Voice,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7″

Best Original Score: “Soul”
“Da 5 Bloods”
“News of the World”

Best Film Editing: “Sound of Metal”
“The Father”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

Best Cinematography: “Mank”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
“News of the World”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7″

Best Production Design: “Mank”
“The Father”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“News of the World”

Best Visual Effects: “Tenet”
“Love and Monsters”
“The Midnight Sky”
“The One and Only Ivan”

Best Documentary Feature: “My Octopus Teacher”
“Crip Camp”
“The Mole Agent”

Best Documentary Short Subject: “Colette”
“A Concerto is a Conversation”
“Do Not Split”
“Hunger Ward”
“A Love Song For Latasha”

Best Animated Feature: “Soul”
“Over the Moon”
“A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

Best Animated Short Film: “If Anything Happens I Love You”
“Genius Loci”

Best Live Action Short Film: “Two Distant Strangers”
“Feeling Through”
“The Letter Room”
“The Present”
“White Eye”

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