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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports at Academy Awards: Oscar gongs for NBA star Bryant, Russia dope docu

Sports at Academy Awards: Oscar gongs for NBA star Bryant, Russia dope docu

Last updated on: March 05, 2018 12:32 IST

NBA star and filmmaker Kobe Bryant, winner of the Best Animated Short Film award for 'Dear Basketball,' poses in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, on Sunday

IMAGE: NBA star and filmmaker Kobe Bryant, winner of the Best Animated Short Film award for 'Dear Basketball,' poses in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, on Sunday. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The sports field saw two special mentions at the 90th Oscar Awards on Sunday night.

 

In what is a first in the history of the Academy Awards, a sportsperson was awarded the golden statuette for the first time.

Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Lakers and NBA basketball superstar, won an Oscar for his animated short film, 'Dear Basketball'.

The award was presented by the cast members from 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.

In his acceptance speech, the 39-year-old said, "As basketball players, we're really supposed to shut up and dribble. I'm glad we can do a little bit more than that".

"Dear Basketball" is based on the National Basketball Association great's 2015 poem, published on the Player's Tribune website, announcing his final NBA season. Bryant narrated the five-minute film, which was directed by Glen Keane and scored by Oscar winner John Williams.

The film shows top moments from Bryant's career animated in hand-drawn images while he recites the letter about his devotion to the sport from a young age and a body that will no longer allow him to compete at the highest level.

Bryant, who played 20 seasons, has started his own production company in retirement, Kobe Studios. He told news media he sought out Oprah Winfrey and TV producer Shonda Rhimes for guidance when he launched the studio.

(Left to Right): Producer David Fialkow and director Bryan Fogel accept Best Documentary Feature for 'Icarus' from actor/director Greta Gerwig and actor Laura Dern onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, on Sunday

IMAGE: (Left to Right): Producer David Fialkow and director Bryan Fogel accept Best Documentary Feature for 'Icarus' from actor/director Greta Gerwig and actor Laura Dern onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, on Sunday. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In another first of the night, Netflix got a nod at the awards.

‘Icarus’, a sports documentary on the Russian doping scandal, won an Academy Award for best documentary.

Directed by Bryan Fogel and produced by Dan Cogan, the film revolves around a major international doping scandal through Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, who was also one of the whistleblowers who came forward about Russian athletes using performance-enhancing drugs to compete in the Olympic Games.

‘Icarus’ helped lead to the ban of Russia from competing in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the IOC allowed Russian athletes to participate under a neutral flag as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

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