Oscars 2022: Riz Ahmed Makes History With Academy Award Win

Riz Ahmed just won his first Oscar for his participation in the live-action short film The Long Goodbye, which the British actor and musician co-wrote and starred in. The win is historical, making it the first time someone of Asian descent has won in the live-action short category. The 39-year-old took the time to speak on unity in his acceptance speech. "In such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us there is no 'us' and 'them'. There's just 'us'" he said. "This is for everyone who feels like they don't belong. Anyone who feels like they're stuck in no man's land. You're not alone. We'll meet you there. That's where the future is. Peace." 

The movie chronicles a south Asian family in suburban London whose preparations for celebration are interrupted by news reports of an all-white militia, who soon afterwards knock on their door. It's not his first Oscar nomination. He was nominated in 2021 for his role as a hearing-impaired drummer in Sound of Metal. He lost to  Anthony Hopkins. Steven Yuen was also nominated the same category last year. That too was history making. It marked the first time two Asian men had been both nominated for best actor.

The Long Goodbye incorporates Ahmed's songs from the album of the same title. The album was released in 2021 and is a representation of his identity as a British Pakistani artist. The film is available for streaming on YouTube.

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In a recent interview, he said the movie is a mirror from his own experience of the clashing of immigrants and migrants. "In post-Brexit Britain, we were feeling this rising drumbeat of xenophobia all around. And it starting to feel a little bit deafening. You get to the point where you've got to grab someone and say, 'Do you hear this? Are you feeling this? Am I having a panic attack?'" Ahmed said in a recent interview, per the Associated Press. "Aneil and I wanted to urgently tell a story about this, to spill our feelings, to unearth our nightmares and put them out into the world."