PUBLISHED: MARCH 17, 2021

Actors of Asian descent break barriers at 2021 Oscar nominations

A year after Korean black comedy Parasite made history by winning Best Picture, actors and crew of Asian descent broke barriers at the Oscar nominations. Controversially, no Parasite cast member was nominated in the acting categories.


Minari’s Youn Yuh-jung was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. She is a beloved veteran actress in South Korea.

Minari’s Steven Yeun was nominated in the Best Actor category. He’s a Korean-American actor who gained recognition on horror series The Walking Dead.

Joining Yeun in the Best Actor nominee ranks is British-Pakistani Riz Ahmed as a drummer losing his hearing in Sound Of Metal. This will be the first Oscar race featuring two male leading actors of Asian descent.

Minari writer-director Lee Isaac Chung will compete with Chloe Zhao, the China-born director of Nomadland, for the Best Director prize. This was the first time two persons of Asian descent were named in that category.

Zhao became the first Asian woman and first non-white woman to be nominated in the directing Oscar category. She was the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director earlier this month.

Minari, the story of a South Korean family struggling to keep an Arkansas farm afloat, was also nominated in the Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score categories.

The Oscars will take place on April 25 in the United States. Minari is now showing in cinemas here, while Nomadland is opening on March 18. Sound Of Metal opens exclusively at The Projector on April 1.

Breaking barriers
Breaking barriers

SOURCE: ST REPORT BY JOHN LUI; VIDEOS BY A24/YOUTUBE, FOX INTERNATIONAL/YOUTUBE, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO/YOUTUBE, OSCARS/YOUTUBE AND SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES/YOUTUBE

PRODUCED BY: DENISE CHONG

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