MPAC Congratulates the Academy for Recognizing Diverse Talent at Oscars

March 3, 2014

MPAC would like to thank the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for recognizing the immense talents of diverse actors and filmmakers with multiple nominations at last night's 86th annual Academy Awards celebration.

SEE: "Diversity The Big Winner At The Academy Awards" (NPR)

Among the honorees of note were "The Square" for Best Documentary, "Omar" for Best Foreign Language Film, "Karama Has No Walls" for Best Documentary Short and Barkhad Abdi for Best Supporting Role in "Captain Phillips." The powerful film "12 Years a Slave" also won Best Film, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita N’yongo and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley, who became only the second African American to win an Oscar in the writing category. In addition, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron became the first Latino to win an Oscar for best director for "Gravity."

Recognizing Muslim, Arab, African, African American and Latino voices represents a significant move toward greater diversity and progress in Hollywood, a goal which MPAC's Hollywood Bureau has been working towards for more than 20 years.

The Academy also brought together six aspiring young filmmakers from colleges across the country to be a part of Team Oscar. American Muslim cinematographer Zaineb Abdul-Nabi, a senior at the University of Michigan, was among those who had the honor of presenting the Oscar statuettes to the presenters and remaining on stage while the winners accepted their awards.

ALSO SEE: Abdul-Nabi Video Submission for Team Oscar (

"When Hollywood focuses the spotlight on the stories of underrepresented voices and communities, it better represents the world as it is," said Deana Nassar, MPAC's Hollywood Liaison. "We thank and congratulate the Academy for this important symbol of progress for audiences worldwide."

Last week, the Hollywood Journal published "Changing the Narrative of Muslims in Hollywood" an op-ed by Sue Obeidi, MPAC's Director of Operations and the Head of MPAC's Hollywood Bureau. In the op-ed, Obeidi argues that if Muslims want to see a better world for themselves and others, we need to change the narrative in Hollywood by telling our own stories.

This year's Oscars is another indicator of the impact the American Muslims are having on Hollywood and of the advances we are making. We look forward to seeing even greater diversity on television and in films in 2014.



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