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Oscar Awards

Happy International Women’s Day! In honour of this day, we’re talking about the impact made by women at the recent 2019 Academy Awards. It was a big year for the fairer sex, with first-time wins and nominations and an overall assertive presence at the Oscars.

Best Actress/Supporting Actress

One of the most sincere and endearing acceptance speeches of the evening was given by Best Actress winner Olivia Colman. This was Colman’s first Oscar nomination and it came for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite. The actress was already well-established in the industry, having won four BAFTA Awards, four British Independent Film Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. She also has a royal pedigree with past roles as Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Acting isn’t the only job she’s had and she’ll go to great lengths to nail a role.

Best Supporting Actress went to Regina King, who was also celebrating her first Oscar nomination. Like Colman, King has had awards success with an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Awards. King’s role was based on the book by James Baldwin, written in the 1960s. If Beale Street Could Talk is about a young, pregnant woman who takes on the justice system with the help of her family. As she draws closer to giving birth, there’s a fight to prove the woman’s fiancée is innocent. King plays the young girl’s mother.

Black Panther Oscars

Black Panther quickly became a cinematic juggernaut, with global ticket sales reaching $1 billion dollars within four weeks of its release. When it came to Oscar awards, two women on the movie’s production broke barriers. Hannah Beachler was instrumental in creating the world of Wakanda as Black Panther’s Production Designer. She was the first black person ever to be nominated in this category and the first black person to ever win the award.

A second Oscar for Black Panther went to yet another woman. Ruth E. Carter won for Best Costume Design, but this wasn’t her first nomination. She also made the shortlist for Malcolm X and Amistad. Carter has worked on more than forty films over thirty-some years in the industry. Overall, Black Panther won three Oscars—the only Academy Awards ever won by the studio.

More Than Just a Song

Even if you didn’t see the remake of A Star is Born, we bet you’ve heard the Oscar-nominated song “Shallow”. If it wasn’t stuck in your head before the Oscars, it probably is now. The live performance by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga had quite a reaction on social media. Lady Gaga took home the Oscar trophy for Best Original Song, along with her collaborators, for the wildly popular tune.

Short Cuts

Women picked up Oscars for both Documentary Short Subject and Animated Short. Period. End of Sentence tells the story of a group of women in northern India who find agency when their village receives a pad machine. Directed by 25-year-old Rayka Zehtabchi and produced by Melissa Burton, the film was created by The Pad Project. The women in Hapur learn to make and market their own pads, helping them fight the stigma of menstruation. Funding for the first pad machine was raised by a California high school chapter of the Feminist Majority Foundation, making this a win for women, by women.

Toronto has some bragging rights after Domee Shi picked up a win for Best Animated Short with “Bao”. Shi is a graduate of the Sheridan College animation program and the first woman to direct a Pixar film. She shared the award with producer Becky Neiman-Cobb. “Bao” is set in Toronto with many recognizable landmarks. Shi’s short film is one she says it was inspired by her Canadian childhood with Chinese immigrant parents.

Looking Good

What does it take to transform Christian Bale into Dick Cheney? Excellent hair and make-up. The challenge was to not only to make the actor look like someone else but to depict his character over a 50-year span. Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney worked with Greg Cannom on the movie Vice. Their reward was an Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, the first nomination for Biscoe and Dehaney. They transformed Bale and others into real-life figures we all know well.

Celebrating Women

Women have long been important contributors to film and television. Today is an opportunity for us to recognize these women and also give a shout out to the women working at Key West Video. From writers to animators to producers to editors, women are an integral part of the team. Take a bow, ladies. Thanks for your hard work.

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