Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
First film with a largely deaf cast wins best picture at Academy Awards

First film with a largely deaf cast wins best picture at Academy Awards

29 March 2022

Family drama movie CODA has become the first film with a predominantly deaf cast to win the best picture Oscar at the 2022 94th Academy Awards.

As well as the first streaming film to win the title (Apple TV+), CODA beat front-runners The Power of the Dog and Belfast to take the top gong at the awards.

In fact, CODA collected three awards from the night of nights.

The $10 million budget film, named after the term for children of deaf adults, became only the third film directed by a woman to win the top prize. 

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli presented the award to the drama, which had already won in all three of its nominated categories.

The movie’s Troy Kotsur also made history as the first deaf male actor to win an Oscar, while Sian Heder won the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

Based on the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier and written and directed by Sian Heder, CODA premiered at 2021’s virtual Sundance film festival and was purchased by Apple TV+ for a record-breaking $25 million.

The Apple TV+ family drama, about a girl living with her deaf family, also stars Emilia Jones and Marlee Matlin.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby (Jones) is the sole hearing member of a deaf family — a CODA, or “child of Deaf adults”.

Her life revolves around acting as an interpreter for her parents (Matlin, Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant).

But when Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and soon finds herself drawn to her duet partner, Miles (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo).

Encouraged by her enthusiastic, tough-love choirmaster (Eugenio Derbez) to apply to a prestigious music school, Ruby finds herself torn between the obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.


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