List of Academy Award winners and nominees of Asian descent

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This is a list of Academy Award winners and nominees who are of Asian descent and were either born and raised outside of Asia, or who were born in Asia but raised elsewhere. This list is current as of the 91st Academy Awards. See also List of Asian Academy Award winners and nominees.

Best Picture[edit]

Best Picture
Year Name Country Film Status Milestone/Notes
1989 A. Kitman Ho Hong Kong/United States Born on the Fourth of July Nominated Chinese descent
First Asian-American nominated for Best Picture[1]
(nominated with Oliver Stone)
1991 JFK Nominated (nominated with Oliver Stone)
1996 Richard Sakai United States/Japan Jerry Maguire Nominated Japanese-American[2]
(nominated with James L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, & Cameron Crowe)

Best Director[edit]

Director
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1999 M. Night Shyamalan United States/India The Sixth Sense Nominated Indian descent[3]

Best Actor[edit]

Actor in a Leading Role
Year Name Country Film Role Status Milestone/Notes
1982 Ben Kingsley United Kingdom/India Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi Won Half-Indian descent (father is Indian)[4]
First Asian nominated for Best Actor
First Asian to win Best Actor
2003 House of Sand and Fog Massoud Behrani Nominated

Best Supporting Actor[edit]

Actor in a Supporting Role
Year Name Country Film Role Status Milestone/Notes
1936 Akim Tamiroff United States/Armenia The General Died at Dawn General Yang Nominated Armenian descent
First Asian to be nominated in any acting category.
First Asian with multiple nominations in acting categories.
1943 For Whom the Bell Tolls Pablo Nominated
1962 Omar Sharif Egypt/Lebanon Lawrence of Arabia Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish Nominated Lebanese descent
1984 Pat Morita United States/Japan The Karate Kid Mr. Miyagi Nominated Japanese descent[5]
First Asian American nominated for Best Supporting Actor
1991 Ben Kingsley United Kingdom/India Bugsy Meyer Lansky Nominated
2001 Sexy Beast Don Logan Nominated Tied for third most Oscar-nominated Asian of all time, with four nominations
2016 Dev Patel Lion Saroo Brierley Nominated Indian descent[6]

Best Supporting Actress[edit]

Actress in a Supporting Role
Year Name Country Film Role Status Milestone/Notes
1985 Meg Tilly Canada/China Agnes of God Sister Agnes Nominated Half-Chinese descent[7]
First Asian American and first Chinese American nominated for Best Supporting Actress
1994 Jennifer Tilly Bullets Over Broadway Olive Neal Nominated Half-Chinese descent[7]
2010 Hailee Steinfeld United States/Philippines True Grit Mattie Ross Nominated Filipino descent (mother and grandfather were of Filipino descent)[8][9]
Youngest Asian American nominated for Best Supporting Actress (age 14)

Best Original Screenplay[edit]

Original Screenplay
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1986 Hanif Kureishi United Kingdom/Pakistan My Beautiful Laundrette Nominated Half-Pakistani descent (father is Pakistani)[10]
First Asian nominated for Best Original Screenplay
1999 M. Night Shyamalan United States/India The Sixth Sense Nominated
2002 Steven Zaillian United States/Armenia Gangs of New York Nominated Armenian descent
2006 Iris Yamashita United States/Japan Letters from Iwo Jima Nominated Japanese descent[11]
Second time a screenplay written almost entirely in an Asian language (Japanese) was nominated for a screenplay award.
(nominated with Paul Haggis)

Best Adapted Screenplay[edit]

Adapted Screenplay
Year Name Country Film Adapted From Status Notes
1990 Steven Zaillian United States/Armenia Awakenings Awakenings by Oliver Sacks Nominated First Asian nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
1993 Schindler's List Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally Won First Asian to win for Best Adapted Screenplay.
1997 Hossein Amini Iran/United Kingdom The Wings of the Dove The Wings of the Dove by Henry James Nominated
2011 Steven Zaillian United States/Armenia Moneyball Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis Nominated
(nominated with Aaron Sorkin)

Best Cinematography[edit]

Cinematography
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1938 James Wong Howe United States/China Algiers Nominated Chinese descent[12]
First Asian nominated for Best Cinematography
1940 Abe Lincoln in Illinois Nominated
1942 Kings Row Nominated
1943 Air Force Nominated (nominated with Elmer Dyer & Charles A. Marshall)
The North Star Nominated
1955 The Rose Tattoo Won First Asian to win Best Cinematography
1958 The Old Man and the Sea Nominated
1963 Hud Won First Asian to win multiple Academy Awards
1966 Seconds Nominated
1975 Funny Lady Nominated Most Oscar-nominated Asian of all time, with ten nominations
1996 Darius Khondji Iran/France Evita Nominated Iranian descent
2010 Matthew Libatique United States/Philippines Black Swan Nominated Filipino descent[13]
First Asian American nominated for Best Cinematography since Howe
2018 A Star Is Born Nominated

Best Film Editing[edit]

Film Editing
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1975 Richard Chew United States/China One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Nominated Chinese descent[12]
First Asian nominated for Best Film Editing
First Asian American nominated for Best Film Editing
(nominated with Lynzee Klingman & Sheldon Kahn)
1977 Star Wars Won First Asian to win Best Film Editing
First Asian American to win Best Film Editing
(won with Paul Hirsch & Marcia Lucas)
1999 Tariq Anwar India/United Kingdom American Beauty Nominated Half-Indian descent (father is Indian)[14]
2010 The King's Speech Nominated
2014 Tom Cross United States/Vietnam Whiplash Won Half-Vietnamese descent (mother is Vietnamese)[15]
2016 La La Land Nominated

Best Production Design[edit]

Production Design
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1969 George B. Chan United States/China Gaily, Gaily Nominated Chinese descent[16]
(nominated with Robert F. Boyle, Edward G. Boyle, & Carl Biddiscombe)
2008 James J. Murakami United States/Japan Changeling Nominated Japanese descent[17]
(nominated with Gary Fettis)
2017 Paul Denham Austerberry Canada/United Kingdom/Philippines The Shape of Water Won Filipino descent[18]
(nominated with Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin)

Best Original Score[edit]

Original Score
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1996 Gabriel Yared France/Lebanon The English Patient Won Lebanese descent
1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley Nominated
2003 Cold Mountain Nominated

Best Original Song[edit]

Original Song
Year Name Country Film Song Status Notes
2008 M.I.A. India
United Kingdom/Sri Lanka
Slumdog Millionaire "O Saya" Nominated M.I.A. is of Sri Lankan descent[19]
Shared nomination with A.R. Rahman.
2013 Robert Lopez United States/Philippines Frozen "Let It Go" Won Part-Filipino descent (paternal grandfather is Filipino, paternal grandmother is part-Filipino)[20]
First Asian American nominated for Best Original Song
First Asian American to win Best Original Song
(nominated with Kristen Anderson-Lopez)
Karen O United States/South Korea/Poland Her "The Moon Song" Nominated Half-Korean descent (mother is Korean, father is Polish)[21]
(nominated with Spike Jonze)
2017 Robert Lopez United States/Philippines Coco "Remember Me" Won (nominated with Kristen Anderson-Lopez)

Best Sound Mixing[edit]

Sound Mixing
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
2008 Ren Klyce United States/Japan The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Nominated Japanese descent
First Asian nominated for Best Sound Mixing
First Asian American nominated for Best Sound Mixing
(nominated with David Parker, Michael Semanick & Mark Weingarten)
2010 The Social Network Nominated (nominated with David Parker, Michael Semanick & Mark Weingarten)
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nominated (nominated with David Parker, Michael Semanick & Bo Persson)
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi Nominated (nominated with David Parker, Michael Semanick & Stuart Wilson)

Best Sound Editing[edit]

Sound Editing
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1999 Ren Klyce United States/Japan Fight Club Nominated Japanese descent
First Asian nominated for Best Sound Editing
First Asian American nominated for Best Sound Editing
(nominated with Richard Hymns)
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nominated
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi Nominated (nominated with Matthew Wood)

Best Visual Effects[edit]

Visual Effects
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1977 Greg Jein United States/China Close Encounters of the Third Kind Nominated Chinese descent[22]
First Asian nominated for Best Visual Effects
First Asian American nominated for Best Visual Effects
(nominated with Roy Arbogast, Douglas Trumbull, Matthew Yuricich, & Richard Yuricich)
1979 1941 Nominated (nominated with William A. Fraker & A. D. Flowers)
1992 Doug Chiang Taiwan/United States Death Becomes Her Won Chinese descent[12]
First Asian to win Best Visual Effects
(won with Ken Ralston, Douglas Smythe, & Tom Woodruff Jr.)
1993 Ariel Velasco Shaw United States/Philippines The Nightmare Before Christmas Nominated Filipino descent[23]
First person of Filipino descent to be nominated for an Oscar
(Nominated with Pete Kozachik, Eric Leighton, and Gordon Baker)
1999 Jerome Chen United States/China Stuart Little Nominated Chinese descent[24]
(nominated with John Dykstra, Henry F. Anderson III, & Eric Allard)

Best Documentary Feature[edit]

Documentary Feature
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1985 Steven Okazaki United States/Japan Unfinished Business Nominated Japanese descent[25]
First Asian nominated for Best Documentary Feature
First Asian American nominated for Best Documentary Feature
1988 Renee Tajima-Peña Who Killed Vincent Chin? Nominated Tajima-Peña is of Japanese descent[26]
Shared nomination with Christine Choy.
1994 Freida Lee Mock United States/China Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision Won Chinese descent[27]
First Asian to win Best Documentary Feature
First Asian American to win Best Documentary Feature
(won with Terry Sanders)
2010 Audrey Marrs United States/Japan Inside Job Won Half-Japanese descent (mother is Japanese)[28]
2014 Joanna Natasegara United Kingdom/Malaysia Virunga Nominated (nominated with Orlando von Einsiedel)
2015 Asif Kapadia United Kingdom/India Amy Won Indian descent[29]
(nominated with James Gay-Rees)
2018 Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Jimmy Chin
United States/China Free Solo Won Vasarhelyi is of Chinese, Hungarian and Brazilian descent[30]
Chin is of Chinese descent[31]
They are the first married couple of Asian descent to share a nomination
(nominated with Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill)
Bing Liu and Diane Moy Quon United States/China Minding the Gap Nominated Liu is of Chinese descent[32]
Su Kim United States/Korea Hale County This Morning, This Evening Nominated Korean descent[33]
(nominated with RaMell Ross and Joslyn Barnes)

Best Animated Feature[edit]

Animated Feature
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
2011 Jennifer Yuh Nelson South Korea/United States Kung Fu Panda 2 Nominated Korean descent[34]
First woman to direct a Hollywood animated feature film
2015 Rosa Tran United States/Vietnam Anomalisa Nominated Vietnamese descent[35]
(nominated with Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson)

Best Documentary Short Subject[edit]

Documentary Short Subject
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1982 Freida Lee Mock United States/China To Live or Let Die Nominated First Asian American nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject
1983 Arthur Dong Sewing Woman Nominated Chinese descent[12]
1984 Paul T.K. Lin Canada/China The Children of Soong Ching Ling Nominated Chinese descent[36]
(nominated with Gary Bush)
1988 Lise Yasui United States/Japan Family Gathering Nominated Japanese descent[37]
(nominated with Ann Tegnell)
1990 Freida Lee Mock United States/China Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember Nominated (nominated with Terry Sanders)
Steven Okazaki United States/Japan Days of Waiting: The Life & Art of Estelle Ishigo Won First Asian to win Best Documentary Short Subject
First Asian American to win Best Documentary Short Subject
1995 Freida Lee Mock United States/China Never Give Up: The 20th Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper Nominated (nominated with Terry Sanders)
1996 Jessica Yu Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien Won Chinese descent[38]
1998 Keiko Ibi United States/Japan The Personals: Improvisations on Romance in the Golden Years Won Japanese descent[39]
Shui-Bo Wang Canada/China Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square Nominated Chinese descent[40]
(nominated with Donald McWilliams)
2001 Freida Lee Mock United States/China Sing! Nominated Tied for second most Oscar-nominated Asian of all time, with five nominations
(nominated with Jessica Sanders)
2005 Steven Okazaki United States/Japan The Mushroom Club Nominated
2008 The Conscience of Nhem En Nominated Tied for third most Oscar-nominated Asian of all time, with four nominations
2016 Joanna Natasegara United Kingdom/Malaysia The White Helmets Won (nominated with Orlando von Einsiedel)
2018 Rayka Zehtabchi United States/Iran Period. End of Sentence. Won Iranian descent[41]
nominated with Melissa Berton

Best Animated Short Film[edit]

Animated Short Film
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1968 Jimmy T. Murakami United States/Japan The Magic Pear Tree Nominated Japanese descent[42]
First Asian nominated for Best Animated Short Film
First Asian American nominated for Best Animated Short Film
2010 Shaun Tan Australia/China The Lost Thing Won Half-Chinese descent (father is Chinese)[43]
(nominated with Andrew Ruhemann)
2011 Minkyu Lee United States/South Korea Adam and Dog Nominated Korean descent[44]
2014 Robert Kondo United States/Japan The Dam Keeper Nominated Shared nomination with Daisuke Tsutsumi.
2015 Sanjay Patel United States/India Sanjay's Super Team Nominated Indian descent[45]
(nominated with Nicole Paradis Grindle)
2017 Ru Kuwahata United States/Japan Negative Space Nominated Japanese descent[46]
nominated with Max Porter, her husband[47]
2018 Domee Shi Canada/China Bao Won Chinese descent[48]
(nominated with Becky Neiman-Cobb)
Trevor Jimenez Canada/Philippines Weekends Nominated Filipino descent[49]
Bobby Pontillas United States/Philippines One Small Step Nominated Filipino descent[50]

Best Live Action Short Film[edit]

Live Action Short Film
Year Name Country Film Status Notes
1977 Yuki Yoshida Japan/Canada I'll Find a Way Won Japanese descent[51]
(nominated with Beverly Shaffer)
1982 Michael Toshiyuki Uno Japan/United States The Silence Nominated Japanese descent[52]
First Asian American nominated for Best Live Action Short Film
(nominated with Joseph Benson)
1997 Chris Tashima Visas and Virtue Won Japanese descent (father is Japanese)[53]
First Asian American to win Best Live Action Short Film
(nominated with Chris Donahue)
2005 Pia Clemente Philippines/United States Our Time is Up Nominated Filipino descent[54]
(nominated with Rob Pearlstein)
2013 Baldwin Li China/United Kingdom The Voorman Problem Nominated (nominated with Mark Gill)

Non-Competitive Awards[edit]

Non-Competitive Awards
Year Name Country Award
2004 Takuo Miyagishima Japan/United States Gordon E. Sawyer Award[55]
Takuo Miyagishima, one of the most notable design engineers in the motion picture industry, has been voted the Gordon E. Sawyer Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

References[edit]

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