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Unfortunately, The Academy has yet to acknowledge video games as a medium worthy of an Oscar, but the video game industry might have just found its way in.
Some video games are basically like films. Both have scripts, great stories, with amazing actors and actresses bringing characters to life. The only difference is you can directly interact with one, while viewers can only observe movies. That’s not enough to win a coveted Oscar award…yet, but video games did find a way to be recognized on Hollywood’s biggest night.
Sunday night (Apr.25), during The Oscars, the documentary short Colette won an Academy Award, a huge first for the video game industry. The doc was originally produced by Oculus Studios and EA’s Respawn Entertainment and was featured in the first-person shooter VR game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. The game is widely recognized for its historical accuracy, and keeping with that theme, players can unlock short “Gallery” films highlighting real World War II vets as they progress through the game.
Colette, which is directed by Anthony Giacchino, which is one of those “Gallery” films, tells the story of 90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine, one of the last surviving French Resistance members. In the film, she is convinced by a young history student, Lucie Fouble, to return to Germany after vowing never to return to the country. Once there, she visits the Nazi concentration camp where her brother, Jean-Pierre, was sadly killed.
It was acquired and distributed by The Guardian and won the award for best short film at the Big Sky Festival, which made it eligible for Oscar contention. The film went on to win the gold statuette, not only making it the first Oscar-related video game win but a first for The Guardian as well.
In a statement speaking on the historical win, Oculus Studios director of production Mike Doran said in a statement, “The real hero here is Colette herself, who has shared her story with integrity and strength.” He further added, “As we see in the film, resistance takes courage, but facing one’s past may take even more. Allowing us to preserve this pilgrimage for future generations was a true act of bravery and trust.”
A huge win for the video game industry.
You can check out Colette by heading here.
Photo: Handout / Getty