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Written and directed by Siân Heder, CODA made history when selling to Apple in a deal worth $25 million, the biggest sale in the festival’s history (the previous biggest was the $22 million paid by Neon and Hulu for Palm Springs).
It was also the first Sundance entry to win all four top prizes in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category; special jury award for ensemble cast, the directing award, the audience award and the grand jury prize.
CODA follows Ruby (Emilia Jones), who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family — “CODA” stands for child of deaf adults — whose life revolves around acting as interpreter for her parents (Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur) and working on the family’s struggling fishing boat every day before school with her father and older brother (Daniel Durant).
When the family’s fishing business is threatened, Ruby finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music and abandoning her family. Eugenio Derbez and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo also star.
“I hope that this film and Apple’s powerful support will help kick down some doors standing in the way of inclusion and representation and pave a path for more stories that center characters from the deaf and disabled community,” Heder said previously. “The world has waited too long for these stories to be told. Now is the time. No more excuses.”
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