The Oscars milestones and moments you may have missed

The Oscars 2022 set a few new milestones. Credit: AP

While the ceremony was overshadowed by Will Smith’s slap, the 2022 Oscars set new records for diversity and representation, besides giving long-awaited recognition to two big-screen veterans.

There was also some notable successes for British nominees in what turned out to be a night of several firsts.

Here are some of the key milestones:

First win for a male deaf actor

Troy Kotsur is the first male deaf performer to win an Oscar, having being named best supporting actor for his role in the film Coda.

It is only the second time a deaf performer has won an Academy Award for acting, coming 35 years after Marlee Matlin was named best actress for Children Of A Lesser God.

First openly queer woman of colour to win Oscar

In 1962, Rita Moreno won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Anita in the original film adaptation of the musical West Side Story.

Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Oscar. Credit: AP

Exactly 60 years later, Ariana DeBose won best supporting actress for playing the same role – Anita – in Steven Spielberg’s new version of the same film.

It’s the first time a character has won twice in best supporting actress, but more importantly DeBose became the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Oscar.

“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, look into her eyes: you see a queer, openly queer woman of colour, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art,” she said.

“And that is, I think, what we’re here to celebrate.”

She added: “So if anyone has ever questioned your identity or you find yourself living in the grey spaces, I promise you this - there is indeed a place for us.”

First streaming service to win best film

Apple TV+ is the first streaming service to receive an Oscar for best film, winning for Coda.

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The company beat off strong competition from Netflix, which had two movies up for the award, The Power of the Dog and Don’t Look Up.

Netflix has had several productions nominated in this category in recent years, including Roma in 2019, The Irishman in 2020 and The Trial of the Chicago 7 in 2021.

But Coda is the one of the first ever films to be distributed by Apple TV+, and its win this year means Netflix’s wait for Oscar glory goes on.

First Oscars for two big-screen veterans

Sir Kenneth Branagh has been nominated for Academy Awards across seven different categories during his career – itself an Oscars record – including best actor, but until this year had always come away empty-handed.

His win for best original screenplay, for the film Belfast, comes four decades after he made his screen acting debut on BBC television in 1982.

Sir Kenneth Branagh with his award. Credit: AP

Will Smith also picked up his first ever Academy Award this year, for best actor in the film King Richard.

Smith made his film debut 30 years ago in the film Where the Day Takes You, and had previously been twice nominated for the best actor Oscar, for Ali in 2002 and The Pursuit of Happyness in 2007.

A British success

Riz Ahmed picked up the award for the best short film (live action) at this year’s Oscars.

The Long Goodbye is an 11-minute film that tracks a family who are preparing for a wedding celebration when “the events unfolding in the outside world arrive suddenly on their doorstep.”

Riz Ahmed and Aneil Karia pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday. Credit: AP

It was directed and co-written by Aneil Karia, a British film-maker who has directed numerous short films, along with several episodes of the London-based drama Top Boy for Netflix.

First back-to-back wins by female directors

Jane Campion’s award for best director, for the tense Western drama The Power of the Dog, comes just a year after Chloe Zhao’s victory with the film Nomadland.

It represents the first back-to-back wins by women in this category since the Oscars began in 1929.

Campion had already broken new ground this year by becoming the only woman to be nominated twice for best director.

Her first nod came nearly 30 years ago in 1994, for The Piano.

She didn’t win in 1994, but success in 2022 means Campion is now the third female in the history of the Academy Awards to be named best director, after Chloe Zhao in 2021 and Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 (for The Hurt Locker).