‘Colette’ Brings Home the Video Game Industry’s First Oscar®

Oculus Blog
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Posted by Mike Doran, Oculus Studios Director of Production
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April 25, 2021
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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known that video games were special. From constantly evolving game mechanics, art styles that challenge technical constraints, immersive sound design, and emotionally engaging narratives that capture your imagination and completely immerse you in the experience, games offer up some of the best writing, acting, music, and animation around. They’re works of art. And at arguably no point was that more abundantly clear than tonight when the video game industry took home its very first Oscar®.

Featured in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, Colette tells the story of Colette Marin-Catherine, who fought the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance. Since 1945, she has refused to set foot in Germany. That changes when a history student named Lucie enters her life and encourages her to visit the concentration camp where the Nazis killed her brother.

We knew we had something special on our hands and were determined to do Colette’s story justice. Colette premiered at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February 2020 where it won Best Documentary Short—the first of several festival awards. And last month, it was nominated for an Academy Award® in the category of Documentary Short Subject. That marked the first ever Oscar® nomination for Respawn Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Oculus Studios, and the video game industry.

Following a theatrical release at Maysles Documentary Center, Colette was distributed by The Guardian documentaries, where it’s streaming worldwide. And just last week, it was released for free in Oculus TV on the Oculus Quest Platform.

The real hero here is Colette herself, who has shared her story with integrity and strength. 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. We hope this award and the film’s reach means, as Colette says, that Jean-Pierre’s memory, as well as all of those who resisted, are no longer lost in the “Night and Fog” of Dora.

It’s true what they say: It really is an honor just to be nominated. And it’s an incredible moment to win. We’re humbled by this recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® and would like to extend our sincere congratulations to all of our fellow nominees. It’s a privilege to stand alongside you.

We’d like to thank Anthony Giacchino for his brilliant direction, Peter Hirschmann for his tireless leadership, and the entire teams at Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts for their partnership on this historic project.

Most of all, our thanks go out to Colette for having the bravery to share her story with us and with the world.

And to everyone out there in the game industry working on a passion project: Keep going. Your art has value and the world is watching—now more than ever.