Above & Beyond Nabs Oscar Nomination In Historic First

Colette, one of the short films created specifically for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, has made history by receiving an Oscar nomination.

Gamers will see some representation at the Oscars this year as Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond has made history. The game, and its developer Respawn Entertainment, received recognition for one of the short films created for the game. The first-person shooter, virtual reality title came out at the end of 2020 and was met by a positive reception overall. Now it can add an Oscar nomination to the list of accolades.

Medal of Honor has its roots in filmmaking that date all the way back to 1999 when the series began. DreamWorks Interactive, a joint venture between DreamWorks Studios and Microsoft, developed the first title and the game’s story was created by renowned film director Steven Spielberg. The Medal of Honor franchise became a massive success soon after and developed a rivalry of sorts with Call of Duty over the next decade. By 2012, however, Call of Duty had pulled away in both popularity and quality, leaving Medal of Honor: Warfighter to seemingly be the last in the franchise. That changed when Respawn Entertainment, the developers behind the likes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Apex Legends, took over the intellectual property and created the first virtual reality entry in the series. One unique element Respawn added to its take of Medal of Honor was about 90 minutes of short documentary content created specifically for the game.

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Related: Medal Of Honor Director Says VR Is The Best Platform For Shooters

As Kotaku reported, however, the short titled Colette has managed to stand out from the rest and earned an Academy Award nomination for best documentary short subject. The film follows a French Resistance member who visits the concentration camp where her brother was killed. Though Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond did not receive the overall nomination, the feat is impressive as pointed out by Respawn’s composer, Stephen Barton, on Twitter.

Every year, hundreds of feature-length movies that can be eligible for the Oscars are released in just the United States and Canada alone. The number of short films eligible is usually far greater given the reduced runtimes, which generally makes shorts easier to create. Even though there were significantly fewer films created in 2020 compared to other years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Respawn still managed to create one of the five best shorts of the year in the eyes of the Academy.

There will undoubtedly be some who believe Colette‘s Academy Award nomination was only possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it prohibited the creation of potentially more-deserved films. While that may be true, there is no way to ever know for certain. Respawn should be celebrated for its achievement as it perpetuated the idea that not all Oscar-worthy movies, long or short, need to debut through what are considered traditional means. It seems fitting, however, that Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond was the vehicle to further that notion given the series’ roots.

Next: Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond Review – Historical VR Shooting

Source: Kotaku, Stephen Barton/Twitter

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