Facebook just won its first Oscar.
“Colette,” from the social giant’s Oculus VR group and EA’s Respawn Entertainment, picked up the trophy for documentary short subject Sunday at the 93rd Academy Awards. The 24-minute film follows former French Resistance member Colette Marin-Catherine as she travels to Germany for the first time in 74 years. “Colette” was created for the World War II-set VR video game “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.”
“Colette” beat out the other contenders on the category: “A Concerto Is a Conversation,” from Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers; “Do Not Split,” from Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook; “Hunger Ward,” from Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman; and “A Love Song for Latasha,” from Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan.
In “Colette,” directed by Anthony Giacchino and produced by Alice Doyard, Marin-Catherine’s visit to the past is inspired by a young history student who enters her life and convinces her to visit the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp where the Nazis killed her brother.
“Colette” was acquired and released by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, available to stream for free on its site (at this link) and on YouTube (at this link), as well as on Facebook’s Oculus TV (at this link).
“Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond” blends gameplay together with several short films — including “Colette” — focused on stories of war veterans. Players in the game assume the role of an Allied agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) tasked with infiltrating, outgunning and outsmarting the Nazi war machine.
Giacchino’s previous documentary, “The Giant’s Dream” (Warner Bros. Pictures), tells the story behind Oscar-winning director Brad Bird’s first feature film, “The Iron Giant.” Giacchino is currently working on an untitled World War II project set for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
“Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond” is executive produced by Respawn’s Peter Hirschmann, who previously was executive producer and VP of product development at LucasArts overseeing development of games for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and other intellectual property.