'Jojo Rabbit' 's Taika Waititi Dedicates Oscar to 'All the Indigenous Kids All Over the World'

Best Adapted Screenplay nominees also included Steven Zaillian for The Irishman, Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes, Greta Gerwig for Little Women and Todd Phillips and Scott Silver for The Joker

Taika Waititi‘s first Oscar is in the books!

The 44-year-old director — who wrote, directed and acted in JoJo Rabbit — won Sunday night in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, beating out fellow nominees Steven Zaillian for The Irishman, Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes, Greta Gerwig for Little Women, and Todd Phillips and Scott Silver for The Joker.

“This is really light. This one’s light. It’s supposed to be heavy,” he joked upon accepting the award.

Waititi then gave a sweet shoutout to his mother, thanking her for giving him the inspiration to make the film.

“I’d like to thank my mother. I don’t know where you are mom, I lost you, hours ago. Thank you for being my mother and … for giving me the book that I adapted. This film wouldn’t have existed without you doing that.”

He concluded his speech by dedicating the award to “all the indigenous kids all over the world.”

“This is really great,” he said. “I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids all over the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original story tellers and we can make it here as well.”

Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi at the 2020 Oscars. Kevin Winter/Getty

Waititi, who is known for directing Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows, was nominated in 2005 for Best Live Action Short Film. This year, Jojo Rabbit was also nominated for best picture.

The movie’s cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Sam Rockwell, Alfie Allen and others, and is based on Christine Leunens’ 2004 novel Caging Skies.

Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Roman Griffin Davis in the film JOJO RABBIT
Larry Horricks/Twentieth Century Fox

The story centers on Jojo, a lonely German boy who discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home in the midst of World War II.

The movie received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and a Supporting Actress nod to Johansson, who is also nominated in the Best Actress Category for her role in Marriage Story.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are airing live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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