Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Riz Ahmed Toast South Asian Excellence at Pre-Oscars Celebration
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Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Riz Ahmed celebrated South Asian excellence ahead of this year’s Oscars telecast with a Wednesday night party at UTA.
The duo, alongside hosts Mindy Kaling, Kumail Nanjiani, Anjula Acharia, Maneesh K. Goyal, Shruti Ganguly and Netflix’s Bela Bajaria, led an event honoring the South Asian-led nominees recognized at this year’s Academy Awards.
Such nominees for this year’s ceremony include Ahmed (Flee, The Long Goodbye), Joseph Patel (Summer of Soul), Suroosh Alvi (Flee) Pawo Choyning Dorji (Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom), Aneil Karia (The Long Goodbye), Elizabeth Mirzaei & Gulistan Mirzaei (Three Songs for Benazir), Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh & Anurima Bhargava (Writing with Fire), many of whom were in attendance at the celebration. The star-studded affair also included attendees Aziz Ansari, Lilly Singh, and Kal Penn, and was sponsored by UTA, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Johnnie Walker, The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund of The India Center and The Juggernaut.
Chopra Jonas caught up with The Hollywood Reporter during the night’s festivities saying she was “a little bit emotional” seeing everyone together in one room. “To come together as a community to recognize each other and to be able to make noise around our own communities is long overdue. I’m glad we’re doing it now and hope we keep doing it,” she said.
Although the night celebrated the most South Asian representation the Academy has seen thus far, the actress noted there is still more work to be done.
“I think it’s really important to have executives and people behind the camera who are South Asian and who are interested in telling South Asian stories and have the audacity to tell stories that are different which we’re seeing now,” Chopra Jonas said. “In the last decade I have seen such a massive change and it has taken this generation of people and all of us to be able to take big strides and not be afraid.”
The actress also raised a glass to the nominees during the evening, sharing a personal anecdote at how far the industry has come in terms of inclusivity. “When I came here 10 years ago and I started looking for work in America, Aziz Ansari and I met at this one afterparty and we were like, ‘OK, we’re going to count how many brown people are in the room’ and it was just us. Today I stand amongst peers amongst colleagues among South Asian excellence and I have goosebumps.”
The twice-nominated Ahmed also gave a speech honoring his fellow nominees as well as noting the diverse experiences of the South Asian community as a whole. “If we can come together as a community to celebrate our wins as our wins,” said Ahmed, “Let’s all step up to hold each other’s suffering as our collective suffering. Let’s use this platform for solidarity as well as celebration.”
The 94th annual Oscars, hosted by Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, will be televised live on ABC on Sunday.
source : https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/priyanka-chopra-jonas-riz-ahmed-oscar-party-1235118157/