Riz Ahmed wins Oscar for The Long Goodbye

<span>Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Ahmed, who was nominated for best actor last year for Sound of Metal, has won his first Academy Award for live-action short

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Riz Ahmed, the British actor and musician, has won his first Oscar for Aneil Karia’s live-action short film The Long Goodbye, which Ahmed co-wrote and starred in.

In his acceptance speech Ahmed, 39, said: “In such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. There’s just ‘us’.

“This is for everyone who feels like they don’t belong. Anyone who feels like they’re stuck in no man’s land. You’re not alone. We’ll meet you there. That’s where the future is. Peace.”

Ahmed was nominated for an Oscar last year for his role as a hearing-impaired drummer in Sound of Metal, losing out to Anthony Hopkins.

The Long Goodbye incorporates music from Ahmed’s album of the same name, which was released in 2021 and reflects on his identity as a British Pakistani artist.

Ahmed accepts his Oscar.
Ahmed accepts his Oscar. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The film shows a south Asian family in suburban London whose preparations for celebration are interrupted by news reports of an all-white militia, who soon afterwards knock on their door.

The win marks the first time someone of Asian descent has triumphed in the live-action short category. Ahmed’s nomination last year alongside Steven Yuen in the same category, was the first time two Asian men had been both nominated for best actor.