A drama about a transgender woman has won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Chilean film A Fantastic Woman has taken home the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, its only nomination.
A Fantastic Woman’s director Sebastián Lelio, thanked star Daniela Vega when accepting the award.
He said: “I want to thank the cast of the film, especially the brilliant actor Francisco Reyes Morandé and the inspiration for this movie, Daniela Vega.
28-year-old Vega has been receiving rave reviews for her central role in the film.
Vega’s character Marina has to deal with her partner’s death and his family’s subsequent transphobia, while simultaneously trying to find her identity without her beloved Orlando.
Screening in several film festivals internationally, A Fantastic Woman had been very well received, particularly for Vega’s performance.
The magazine said she deserved “so much more than political praise,” and was one of many publications heaping compliments on the actress.
The film has been praised both for Vega’s performance and the artistic merit of the film, but for also ensuring that a transgender character was played by a transgender actress.
After his win, director Lelio said that it was critically important that the main character in the film be played by a transgender actress.
He said: “I felt that, for me, it was [a] very instinctive and strong decision knowing that I was not going to make this film without a transgender actress in main role.
“That put [the] film in a different dimension because of everything that Daniela brought to the film.”
After it was screened at the Berlin Film Festival, Variety called Vega’s performance “a multi-layered, emotionally polymorphous feat of acting.”
However, Vega herself missed out on a nomination for Best Actress.
Vega became the first openly trans person to ever present at the Oscars, introducing Sufjan Stevens’s performance of “Mystery of Love” from the acclaimed film Call Me By Your Name.
As Vega took the stage at the 90th Academy Awards, she said: “Thank you for this moment. I want to invite you to open your hearts and your feelings to feel the reality, to feel love. Can you feel it?”
Director Yance Ford became the first trans director to be nominated for an Oscar in this year’s Academy Awards, but was sadly beaten by the documentary Icarus.