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12 Oscar nominations go to Sundance’s Minari and Judas and the Black Messiah

PARK CITY, Utah. — Two films that debuted at Sundance to critical acclaim and fanfare have now garnered a new round of attention by receiving six Oscar nominations each this week.

Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari was inspired by his early childhood growing up on a farm in rural Arkansas and the challenges of being Korean in the deep south during the 1970s and ’80s. It was first released at last year’s 2020 Sundance Film Festival. This week it was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director.

Steven Yuen made history becoming the first Asian American actor to be nominated for Best Actor, and Yuh-Jung Youn was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The film won the Grand Jury and Audience awards at last year’s Sundance.

Shaka King, director of Judas and the Black Messiah, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Shaka King, director of Judas and the Black Messiah, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Glen Wilson

From this year’s (virtual) Sundance festival, Shaka King’s biopic Judas and the Black Messiah received high praise from critics and audiences for its inspiring message calling for camaraderie and unity in struggling communities of color in the late 1960s. Rising up from the tough inner-city streets of Southside Chicago, Fred Hampton worked for equal justice, rights, and equality for people of color in his role as Chairman for the Illinois Black Panther Party. This film also received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Daniel Kaluyya and LaKeith Stanfield were both nominated for Best Supporting Actor for their turns in the film about the 1969 assassination of Fred Hampton.

The complete list of nominees for this year’s Oscars is here.

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