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Indie Film CODA Wins Big at the SAGs 2022

By Michelle Strozykowski

CODA, the film that wowed at Sundance took the top award, the best film, at the Screen Actors Guild awards in Santa Monica, California, at last night’s (Feb 27) ceremony.


  • CODA Takes the Top Prize


The SAGs, often seen as a forerunner for Oscar success, awarded Coda the big one, the rather unwieldy titled Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, which is basically Best Film. It also rewarded Troy Kotsur, who plays the Dad in Coda, with Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.


CODA, which stands for 'Child of Deaf Adults', stars a number of deaf actors and normalises the use of American sign language. It’s not the first film to do so, of course. Deaf actors featured in 2019’s Riz Ahmed led Sound of Metal, the mega successful horror A Quiet Place, Oscar winning Children of a Lesser God and Brit romcom Four Weddings and a Funeral, amongst others.


  • The Silent Child Award Winning Short Film


In 2018 the academy awarded homegrown talent (and former Hollyoaks actress) Rachel Shenton the 'Best Short Film (Live Action)' Oscar for The Silent Child. The short film was both written by and starred Shenton, whilst her partner Chris Overton took the directing reins. It was about Libby, a four-year-old profoundly deaf girl who is helped to communicate in British sign language by her social worker (played by Shenton). When Shenton accepted the award she used British sign language, honouring a promise made to her young lead actress Maisie Sly.

  • Oscar Potential?


So, Oscar certainly has form for honouring the deaf community in films. Coda is up against a strong contingency this year in the Academy awards best film category, but the SAG award is a welcome step in the right direction.