By: Daniela Olariu
The first annual Alternative Oscar Awards hosted by the RTA Inclusive Media Society recognized the importance of diversity and inclusivity in film and television on Tuesday.
Kelly Kitagawa, a lead executive of the RTA Inclusive Media Society said the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were “a bit exclusive.” “This inspired us to launch our own event that would include more diversity for the films and film makers.”
Some of the categories included Least White Film or TV Show, Best Queer Representation and Least Straight Film or TV Show. Among some of the winners were Selma for Best Racial Representation, Dear White People for Least White Film or TV Show and Ava DuVernay for Best Film Director.
According to Elena Hudgins Lyle, the host of the event, the 16 categories were created with a sense of humour and nominees were voted by RTA students via Google Drive.
The event took place at the Rogers Communication Centre from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and gave the audience insight on how the Oscars lacked diversity and inclusivity in the films that were nominated. Other lead executives of the RTA Inclusive Media Society that contributed to the event were Michal Heuston and Trey Robinson.
Erin Brooker, the curriculum adviser for the executive team came up with the idea to host the event. “I was inspired to start my own awards when ‘Selma’ was nominated for Best Picture and nothing else,” she said. “Some reasons for why Selma didn’t win any other awards could be because it was directed by a woman, or possibly because of racial tension in the United States.”
At the end of the event, the organizers encouraged its audience to recognize how diversity is portrayed in the media and to continue the conversation.