Video game industry wins first Oscar with documentary short Colette

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Colette, a short film featured in the Oculus VR game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, has won this year’s Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Presented by Oculus Studios and Electronic Arts’ Respawn Entertainment, and later acquired and distributed by The Guardian, it’s the first time a video game industry project has won an Oscar.

Directed by Anthony Giacchino, Colette features a French Resistance survivor, Colette Marin-Catherine, returning to Germany for the first time since the end of World War II to visit a slave labor camp where her brother was killed. The documentary is presented in a traditional 2D format whether you watch it in the Oculus TV app or elsewhere.

“The real hero here is Colette herself, who has shared her story with integrity and strength,” Oculus Studios director of production Mike Doran says in a statement. “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.”

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond was not well-received as a video game, with many reviews highlighting its huge system requirements and 170GB installation size — much of which was down to the inclusion of extensive historical and documentary footage. Now that one of those films has won an Oscar, the project may get more positive attention than before.

You can watch Colette for free online on YouTube, Oculus TV, or at The Guardian.

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