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Apple TV+ hit film "CODA" has won another award, with actor Troy Kotsur taking the supporting actor trophy at this year's Film Independent Spirit Awards.
According to Deadline, Kotsur told press that he feels his win will encourage independent producers to cast more deaf people in film roles.
"What was most challenging for me was, producers of independent films often have fear wondering if there is marketability in having authenticity in casting deaf actors," he said. "To have that confidence, sometimes I feel like a little bug on the ground. Now I'm a big bug."
"Now they can finally see me and so I can say, 'Hello, we've grown and deaf folks can make change for the better,'" he continued. "Hollywood can have open hearts and open minds and give more inclusion to more diverse groups."
The Film Independent Spirit Awards eschew movies from major studios, but while Apple TV+ bought "CODA" for $25 million, it was made by Vendome Pictures and Pathe Films. Apple is therefore the distributor rather than the producing company, so "CODA" was eligible as an independent film.