Apple TV+ indie film CODA bags two Gotham Awards

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Emilia Jones won a Gotham Award for her role as Ruby in the Apple TV+ film CODA.
Emilia Jones won a Gotham Award for her role as Ruby in the Apple TV+ film CODA.
Photo: Apple TV+

The Gotham Independent Film Awards handed Apple TV+ film CODA two wins on Monday. Stars Emilia Jones and Troy Kotsur each took home a trophy for their roles in the movie, the story of a child of deaf adults (CODA) who must choose between family obligations and her dream of being a singer.

The stars received their awards in person November 29 at the 31st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in Manhattan. In its film category, the Gotham Awards feature several categories recognizing feature-length American movies made for less than $35 million. Apple spent $25 million to get the streaming rights for CODA, a Sundance film.

CODA wins in Gotham Awards acting categories

CODA received three nominations in the Gothams. Emilia Jones won the Breakthrough Performer award for her lead role as Ruby Rossi, the hearing child in the family who wants to sing but finds pursuing that dream difficult, given family dynamics.

Troy Kotsur took the Outstanding Supporting Performance trophy for his role as Frank Rossi, Ruby’s father. Marlee Matlin got a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance for her role as Jackie Rossi, Ruby’s mother. However, the veteran actress didn’t take home the award.

In her acceptance speech, Jones thanked CODA writer and director Sian Heder for how she “took a chance on me.”

“I didn’t know sign language,” Jones said. “I hadn’t really sung before and I never fished.”

In the film, Jones plays the only hearing member of a deaf family. The family’s stock in trade is fishing off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Well-received

CODA is critically acclaimed. It nets 96% and 93% “Fresh” scores on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and viewers, respectively. It’s also noted as the first feature film ever to be released in theaters with burnt-in subtitles.

Cult of Mac film and TV critic Scout Tafoya offered a somewhat mixed take on CODA in his review.

The film also won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.