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Quendrith Johnson

Quendrith Johnson is Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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Spotlight: Riz Ahmed & Aneil Karia’s “The Long Goodbye” from the 2022 Oscar Shortlist

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

If we wind the clock back to last year’s Award Season, SOUND OF METAL starring Riz Ahmed as a hearing-impaired rock drummer blew away the uninitiated as the band-fronter film picked up six Oscar®️ nominations and won two for Best Editing and Best Sound. Notable among the nominations was Riz Ahmed himself as Best Lead Actor. Hard to believe this British former rapper named Riz MC went from being kicked off airplay for being 'too controversial' to displaying acting chops so significant as to be cast in big franchises like ROGUE ONE; A STAR WARS STORY, JASON BOURNE, and Tom Hardy’s VENOM outing. The point of this backstory is to set the stage for this Riz Ahmed announcement two weeks ago, that THE LONG GOODBYE - a short film directed by Aneil Karia and co-written by Karia and Ahmed - has made the coveted Oscar Shortlist for Short Films in the Live Action Category. 

“Can’t explain how much it means to have ‘The Long Goodbye’ shortlisted for the Oscars,” Ahmed said in the wake of the surprise good news. “Thank you to the Academy voters and everyone who has supported this film. Aneil and I made this from the heart, it’s amazing to see how it’s connected with other people. I hope it continues to spread, and that it’s a wakeup call and that the world gets to see what a phenomenal filmmaker Aneil Karia is.”

His director and co-writer Aneil Karia added, "getting shortlisted for the Oscars means the world to me. I'm so grateful to the Academy voters for giving this film - that came from such a personal and urgent place - this kind of recognition. Thank You."

THE LONG GOODBYE is 11-plus minutes of loving family time before a wedding to a harrowing essay on snap-judgment, law enforcement, and institutional racism (to put it mildly). It puts the cycle of life and death and genocide, or fear of same, front and center with a poetic vignette as a coda.

Watch it for yourself here...

A darling of the film festival circuit, “This timely film was created as a wakeup call against rising intolerance,” the press notes conclude, as if the visual closed-fist punch of this short film hasn’t hit that message home already.

While Oscar®️ nominee Riz Ahmed may be best known internationally as “the first Muslim to receive a Best Lead Actor nomination from the Academy” and also the first to receive an Emmy for Lead Acting, Ahmed’s portfolio of talent is beyond labels at this stage, as he heads into pre-production for HAMLET this year.

Ahmed can now add “shortlisted for a 2022 Academy Award®️” to his long list of hard-won and well-deserved accolades. And if it wins? Another first for this ferociously gifted actor/activist/phenom.

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About Quendrith Johnson

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