Botwc Firsts

Black Panther’s Hannah Beachler Just Became the First Black Person to be Oscar Nominated for Production Design

Black Panther’s Hannah Beachler Just Became the First Black Person to be Oscar Nominated for Production Design

 Photo: Daymon Gardner 

From 'Fruitvale Station' to 'Creed' to Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ to 'Moonlight,' Hannah Beachler’s vivid imagination and ability to transform sets has made her a go to production designer on some of the most culturally relevant depictions of Black excellence in film.

Beachler’s most recent work where she helped make everyone believe that an African country named Wakanda really exists, just earned her an Oscar nomination for production design. In the Oscar’s 91-year history, this is the first time a Black person has ever been nominated in this category.

In an interview with Vice, Beachler shared how she drew inspiration from other African countries and from films like 'Blade Runner.'

Photo: Marvel Studios 

"It was really about imagining a place that’s technologically advanced. That is a place of enlightenment. Because Wakanda goes beyond the technology. It sort of goes into a way of living, and I wanted that to be reflected in the design." 

Photo: Marvel Studios

For women blazing their own path, Beachler told Essence her advice would be: "Specialize. Know what you want. No matter what field or industry you’re going into, if there is a goal, then specializing will make it easier to navigate how to get there."  

Ryan's Coogler's 'Black Panther' earned a total of seven Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture, making it the first Marvel film to earn a nod in this category. The legendary Ruth Carter received a nod in Costume Design for the film. 

Photo: Marvel Studios 

Spike Lee also received nominations for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for his latest joint 'The Blackkklansman.' This marks the second time that an African American has received three nods in one year. 

Other notable nominations include Barry Jenkins, who earned a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film 'If Beale Street Could Talk', Regina King, who earned a nod for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the aforementioned film, Mahershala Ali, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for 'Green Book', and co-director Peter Ramsey's ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse’ earned a nod for Best Animated Film. 

We’ll be watching and rooting for a Wakanda filled night when the Oscars air on Sunday, February 24.