Deaf community hopes 'CODA' Oscar wins pave way for future non-hearing filmmakers, actors

Zach Fuentes Image
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Deaf community celebrates 'CODA' Oscar wins
Some of the most meaningful moments of the Oscars revolved around Best Picture winner, "CODA."

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Some of the most meaningful moments of the Oscars revolved around Best Picture winner, CODA.

It's the first film with a largely deaf cast to win that award and it's built a new bridge between non-hearing and hearing communities.

The Apple TV+ movie has captured the hearts of anyone who's seen it.

CODA, which stands for Child of Deaf Adults, follows the life of a family of four.

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The mother, father and son depicted in the movie are deaf, the daughter is a CODA the only person in her family who can hear.

The movie won in all three categories it was nominated for.

"I think that this really made a huge message for our community that we can do it. We are not disabled," said Clark Brooke.

Brooke is the superintendent of California School For the Deaf-Fremont.

He says he along with family and friends in the deaf community are thrilled by the impact the movie has made.

VIDEO: Deaf family drama 'CODA' wins best picture Academy Award

Troy Kotsur of 'Coda' wins Oscar for Actor in Supporting Role, making him the second deaf actor to win an Academy Award.

Along with Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, Troy Kotsur won the award for Best Supporting actor.

Kotsur plays the father in the movie.

He's the first deaf man and the second deaf performer overall to win that Oscar.

"He has a history with our school here," Brooke said of Kotsur. "He actually directed a play here, 'The Three Musketeers: All Swash and No Buckle', that was here in 2002."

Brooke says Kotsur will continue to inspire children in the deaf community.

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"Look at Tony and his communication in his native language of American Sign Language and using the interpreters and speaking to a large audience," he said. "It was natural, he's not disabled, he could do this work."

Jacelia Washington who was on hand to interpret an interview with Brooke, is a CODA.

For Washington and other CODAs, the movie and its accomplishments are life-changing.

"I've always had to explain what I mean when I say I'm a CODA. Now I don't have to as much," Washington said. "Everyone knows. After watching this movie, the Oscars, it's worldwide."

The hope from Brooke is that the accomplishments the movie has made, only continue to pave the way for the deaf community in filmmaking.

"I think what should happen next, is having more deaf films produced, created by producers and edited by deaf producers and those behind the scenes, that are also deaf," Brooke said, "That'll be a new challenge for us and I look forward to a new future and an opportunity for our children."

The full Academy Awards show is now available for streaming on Hulu.