Ava DuVernay‘s latest drama “Origin” has added an original song to its Oscar prospects.
New Zealand Māori artist Stan Walker performed the new song, “I Am,” at a private film screening at the Edition Hotel in West Hollywood on Wednesday. He also co-wrote the track with Michael Fatkin, Vince Harder and Te Kanapu Anasta. The song enters a competitive race of Oscar hopefuls from movies such as “Barbie” and “Trolls Band Together.”
Walker would make history as the second Indigenous person, and the first Indigenous man, nominated for original song. Buffy Sainte-Marie became the first Indigenous person ever to win an Academy Award in 1982 for the song “Up Where We Belong” from “An Officer and a Gentleman.” Aside from Sainte-Marie, the only Indigenous Oscar winner in 95 years is Taika Waititi, who took home the adapted screenplay prize for “Jojo Rabbit” (2019).