It seems “CODA” is heading to a theater near you!
“CODA” was among the films named for Best Picture nominee and Apple has decided to help pique interest in the film by releasing it for free in theaters next Friday, from February 25 through February 27, as per Deadline.
‘CODA’ Is Coming… To A Theater Near You!
Apple will re-release Academy Award Best Picture nominee ‘CODA’ for free in theaters across the US and in London.
All free screenings to feature open captions to be fully accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing.
— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) February 18, 2022
The movie, which features a primarily Deaf ensemble cast, will also include open captions to be fully accessible to both deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members. One special showing in Los Angeles will feature a live Q&A with the cast and writer/director Siân Heder. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be present at the event to aid in communication.
The film first took roots at the 2021 virtual Sundance film festival, where it swept all the major awards categories: Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast, the Directing Award, the Audience Award, and the Grand Jury Prize. Apple quickly snatched up rights to the film for a record-breaking $25 million dollars and made the movie available to stream on Apple TV+ last August.
Apple’s Head of Features, Matt Dentler, said, “Every so often, a film comes along that strikes a deep emotional chord for audiences who celebrate its win for humanity. CODA does just that. Siân and the amazing cast and crew of ‘CODA’ gave the world a gift with this film, and we are inspired to pass this gift on.”
In addition to scoring a Best Picture nomination, Heder was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Deaf actor Troy Kotsur is the first Deaf male actor and the second Deaf actor to receive an Oscar nomination. He earned his nom in the Best Supporting Actor category. The first Deaf actor to be nominated – and win – was his “CODA” costar, Marlee Matlin, for her role in “Children of A Lesser God” in 1986.
Troy Kotsur Talks ‘CODA’ Success Story
In addition to his Academy Award nomination, Kotsur is also nominated for a SAG award, a BAFTA, and a Film Independent Spirit Award for his role. He will be competing for his Oscar against Ciaran Hinds from “Belfast,” Jesse Plemons from “The Power of the Dog,” J.K. Simmons from “Being the Ricardos,” and Kodi Smit-McPhee from “The Power of the Dog.”
During a recent interview after his nomination, Kotsur spoke through an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. Even for those not familiar with ASL, the excitement on his face was clear when he said he was “extremely thrilled” by his nomination.
“I feel like it’s wonderful to be able to share this experience with the Deaf community and with the hearing community,” he said. “It’s so exciting and such a blessing.”
“I just felt so touched that so many Deaf people all over the community are so excited and they’re all celebrating,” he added.
Heder added, “I think to see someone like Troy, who has worked in the theater for 30 years and struggled and persevered and been so committed to his craft, even though the odds are so stacked against him…to see him have this moment is just so joyful.”
Kotsur also talked about the importance of having an entire Deaf ensemble, instead of just one actor as a supporting character, which is often the case in Hollywood films.
The Importance Of ‘CODA’ & A Deaf Ensemble Cast
“It’s so important for the group of people in our ensemble who just happen to also be deaf,” he continued. “It tends to just be one deaf role in a film, like many of Marlee’s roles in the past, and so I hope that Hollywood is beginning to be more open-minded and gives more diverse artists an opportunity to tell their stories.”
“The awareness of ASL and Deaf culture is such a positive,” he added.
He pointed to the importance of films like “A Quiet Place” and Deaf actress Lauren Ridloff’s breakthrough role in Marvel’s “Eternals” as a sign that things are shifting in a positive direction for Deaf performers. Kotsur said that he can “feel the positivity out there” right now for Deaf storytellers.
“It’s exciting to see because everyone has their stories to tell,” he continued. “We have such a rich storytelling tradition in the Deaf community, and I hope that folks are motivated to be creative together.”
He added, “It doesn’t matter if we’re Deaf or hearing; we’re just people.”