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The 95th Academy Awards: A Celebration of Culture and Entertainment


By Nikoleta Morales | 95th Academy Award Winners | Image: Michael Yada//©A.M.P.A.S.
By Nikoleta Morales | 95th Academy Award Winners | Image: Michael Yada//©A.M.P.A.S.

From Hollywood to India and Asia, the 95th Academy Showcased Representation from Around the World



The 95th Academy Awards took place on March 12th in Hollywood and was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Journalist Nikoleta Morales was in attendance representing Cultured Focus Magazine. The awards ceremony opened with a US Navy Flyover with two aircraft flying 1,000 feet above the ground at 300 knots/345 mph over the Dolby® Theatre.


“Making an incredibly entertaining show was our top priority, and what better way to kick things off than with an unforgettable moment that sets the tone for the whole evening,” said executive producers and showrunners Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner in a press release.


Halle Berry, Paul Dano, Cara Delevingne, Harrison Ford, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Olsen, Pedro Pascal and John Travolta were some of the presenters at this year’s awards. Lenny Kravitz delivered the “In Memoriam” performance. Actress and singer Sofia Carson, accompanied by songwriter Diane Warren, performed “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman.” Other memorable performances included Lady Gaga’s bare and raw performance of “Hold My Hand” and the winner for Best Original Song, “Naatu Naatu.”


For the first time this year, the Oscars red carpet was not the traditional bright red but a champagne color, which was chosen by the Oscars production team. Jimmy Kimmel joked that “no blood will be shed” at this year’s Oscars during the carpet unveiling ceremony. The predominance of colors worn among the celebrities was black and white. Journalists on the red-carpet area were asked to wear black or dark blue to match the color theme.


Despite some people outside the Dolby Theater who wanted to bring the red carpet back, some celebrities didn’t mind the color change. Cultured Focus Magazine caught up with one on the carpet. “I was excited to see how the carpet is going to be but it’s looking really good so I am excited about that. It’s never too much for the Oscars red carpet material - go big or go home,” said one of the celebrity attendees.



Comedian Loni Love and Journalist Nikoleta Morales



Cultured Focus Magazine caught up with comedian Loni Love on the champagne-colored carpet as well. “This is going to be the most thrilling Oscars. I am glad to do the after party and talk about who the winners are but the thing about the Oscars is you never know who the winners are. It’s going to be a great Oscars full of surprises,” she said.



Colle Walliser
Colle Walliser and Journalist Nikoleta Morales

Another celebrity that Cultured Focus Magazine ran into on the carpet was Colle Walliser known for his strike the pose glam videos. “It’s a high-speed slow motion camera that shoots in the most glamorous way possible. I don’t know who we are going to shoot but I'm very excited to find out. I’d love to shoot more gentlemen,” he said.



The carpet color change was one historical moment that took place during this year’s Oscars. Others were Oscar winners making history, such as: Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress; “Everything Everywhere All at Once” took home seven wins out of 11 nominations; “Naatu Naatu” was the first Indian film song to not only be nominated for but also win an Oscar; Ruth Carter was the first Black woman to win two Oscars.



95th Academy Award Winners | Press Room



Photo credit: Richard Harbaugh/©A.M.P.A.S. (Del Toro); Michael Yada//©A.M.P.A.S.


Cultured Focus Magazine was in the press room front and center where all the Oscar winners come after their win. Nikoleta Morales interviewed three of the major category winners: Paul Rogers for Best Film Editing (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (“The Whale”) and Best Original Song winners for “Natu Natu”, M.M. Keeravaani and Chandrabose.



M. Keeravani and Chandrabose: Best Original Song Winners for "Natu Natu"


Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S.© 2023


Cultured Focus Magazine: You made history tonight. How does it feel and what does it mean to you personally to represent your culture and to make such a big win with that amazing song? What's going through your mind? I mean, how does it feel?

M.M. KEERAVAANI: Right now I'm on cloud nine, and I feel very blessed to have this kind of greatest recognition of the world for my country, for my culture, for my motherland and for my movie industry, from the Telugu language. It feels so great.

CHANDRABOSE: The only thing running in my mind now presently is I have to go to India. I want to show this honor to my wife and my children.


Paul Rogers: Film Editing Winner for "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S.© 2023


Cultured Focus Magazine: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” made enormous history tonight, won so many awards, such a great film. But what do you think is, from your perspective, the magic behind the film that made it such an important film with so many important themes like representation, diversity, immigration and so forth? I mean, there's a lot of themes in the film. But specifically, what is the magic?

Paul Rogers: What is the magic? That's a great question, because as we were cutting it, and I think even as we were writing it, shooting it, they knew that there was some magic there, but it was hard to figure out what exactly it was because there's so much in this film. But, in general, I think it's just people telling a good story. It's as simple as that. You know, I think people... you know, we see a lot of movies that tell stories about certain types of people, right? And they tend to focus on the story of the man, the story of the white man. And having this beautiful story of an immigrant family was amazing. And I think it's just, you know, like James Hong was describing in his speech, it's just that it's long, long, long overdue. And, like, you know, this kind of thing unfortunately does happen to guys like me a lot, too much most of the time. And so, I think that what Dan and Daniel are really conscious of is paying attention to who are we mentoring, who are we hiring, how are we, what kind of stories are we lending our hard time and our energy to tell? And that's a you know, I don't know if that's the one if there's one thing that is the magic to this film, but that's part of it. I think it's a combination of good people making good films with other good people and telling good stories. So, yeah.

Cultured Focus Magazine: And a great cast, right?

Paul Rogers: And a great cast, yeah. Michelle and Ke were incredible. Stephanie Hsu was just insane, and Jamie, and James, and everybody. Tallie, who plays Becky. Who, by the way, her name in the movie is Becky Sregor, which is Rogers backwards. She's named after my wife, Becky Rogers. So, I made sure to give her a lot of screen time.



Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Annemarie Bradley| Best Makeup & Hairstyling Winners: "The Whale"


Clip Courtesy A.M.P.A.S.© 2023


Cultured Focus Magazine: Hello, congratulations on winning your Oscar. Incredible work. I think that, as we all know, the progress and the work that you've done on Brendan Fraser was just incredible. But what I want to know is some of the techniques and challenges you faced along the way. We don't see the hard work. We see the final product but I'm sure there are a lot of hours and hard, sweaty, bloody tears that go behind the work. If you can enlighten us behind the scenes of making it come to life.


Adrien Morot: Well, the makeup on Brendan was especially complicated due to the fact that we were in Covid times and we didn't have access to him and because of that, we had to really break new grounds in terms of how makeups were, not only designed, but fabricated in the shop and then applied on set. So, where normally, what we do is we have the actor coming into this studio and we do a live cast of his body and his head. We couldn't do that. We were in the early days of the pandemic. We didn't know what was the proper protocol at that time. And we've been doing a bunch of inhouse tests in the past like a few years with creating prosthetics through digital workflow. And while no one else had done that before, like, we were actually managing to get some really good results and when Darren called to do his movie, and we didn't have access to Brendan, I was like, maybe this is the time to do it. So, again, like unlike anything else, none of the other nominations tonight, everything was created and sculpted in the computer and 3D printed and turned molds into sculptures and then we were able to apply them on him. Without ever meeting Brendan in person. That was something.


Press Room Highlights | 95th Academy Awards


Other highlights from the press room were seeing firsthand the excitement from Jamie Lee Curtis for winning Best Supporting Actress, tears and lots of emotion in Brendan Frasier’s face after winning for Best Actor, as well as Ke Huy Quan coming in the room jumping from joy with an Oscar in his hand for Best Supporting Actor.

The quotes from the press room that stood out to us:


Brendan Fraser: “And I think of all the films we've seen this year, there's a secret ingredient, and my guess is that it's ‑‑ it's that concern that we showed for one another and for the work that we do, because we all lived under an existential threat. We didn't know if there would be tomorrow.”


Ke Huy Quan: “And I'm just so grateful I’ve said this. Maybe some of you have heard it. You know, I didn't think any of this would be possible. And I’m God, it has been so crazy. All of a sudden my mind is drifting back to the days when I lost my health insurance during the pandemic when I couldn't get a job.”


Jamie Lee Curtis: “And of course, the inclusivity then that involves the bigger question, which is, how do you include everyone when there are binary choices, which is very difficult. And, as the mother of a trans daughter, I completely understand that and yet, to degender the category also I'm concerned will diminish the opportunities for more women, which is something I have also been working to try to promote.”


Michelle Yeoh: “We believe in what we do. We love what we do. So light that fire in your soul and stay on the path. Believe. Dare to dream. Because if you don't dream, it's impossible. Nothing is impossible. Look at me, I'm here.”

Guillermo Del Toro: “So what I'm saying is that every time you stand to do a job as a Latin or a minority or anything you do, you are not alone. And the first duty of representation is to do it really well, to do it really well because you are not doing it for you. You are doing it for people that come after you and are looking forward to opportunities. And if you don't do that, you are closing that door.”





Full list of winners: The Oscar’s 2023


Actor in a Leading Role: Brendan Fraser

Actor in a Supporting Role: Ke Huy Quan

Actress in Leading Role: Michelle Yeoh

Actress in a Supporting Role: Jamie Lee Curtis

Animated Feature Film: PINOCCHIO - Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley

Cinematography: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT - James Friend

Costume Design: BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER - Ruth Carter

Directing: EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE - Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Documentary Feature Film: NAVALNY

Documentary Short Film: THE ELEPHANT WHISPERERS

Film Editing: EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE - Paul Rogers

International Feature Film - ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Germany

Makeup and Hairstyling: THE WHALE, Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Annemarie Bradley

Music (Original Score) - ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Volker Bertelmann

Music (Original Song) - NAATU NAATU from RRR; Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose

Best Picture: EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Production Design: ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

Short Film Animated: THE BOY, THE MOLE, THE FOX AND THE HORSE

Short Film Live Action: AN IRISH GOODBYE

Sound: TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Visual Effects: AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - WOMEN TALKING - Sarah Polley

Writing (Original Screenplay) - EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE - Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert




For more on the Oscars, visit: www.oscars.org

Thank you to House of Solana for designing the dress for Nikoleta Morales and providing hair and make-up by Solana Beaute, as well as jewelry designer Diana Winuk.

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