Wembley actor Riz Ahmed wins first Oscar for The Long Goodbye

Riz Ahmed stars in the 11-minute feature and also co-wrote the script, which is set in the near-future and depicts a south Asian family in London being terrorised by an all-white militia force.

Wembley-born actor and musician Riz Ahmed has won his first Oscar for Aneil Karia’s live-action short film The Long Goodbye.

Ahmed stars in the 11-minute feature and also co-wrote the script, which is set in the near-future and depicts a south Asian family in London being terrorised by an all-white militia force.

Director Aneil Karia (left) and writer and actor Riz Ahmed (right)

This is the first time someone of Asian descent has triumphed in this category.

The 39-year-old was nominated for an Oscar last year for his role as a hearing-impaired drummer in Sound of Metal, losing out to Anthony Hopkins.

In his acceptance speech he said: “In such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. There’s just ‘us’.

“This is for everyone who feels like they don’t belong.

“Anyone who feels like they’re stuck in no man’s land.

“You’re not alone. We’ll meet you there. That’s where the future is. Peace.”

The Long Goodbye incorporates music from Ahmed’s album of the same name, which was released in 2021 and reflects on his identity as a British Pakistani artist.

Ahmed, whose parents moved to London from Karachi, Pakistan in the 1970s has enjoyed a successful career in both the film and music industry.

He has starred alongside American actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the critically acclaimed film Nightcrawler and also new Star Wars film - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

He also co-wrote Mogul Mowgli, Bassam Tariq’s film about a British-Pakistani rapper in New York who is diagnosed with a degenerative autoimmune disease.

Riz Ahmed was featured on the song “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)” in The Hamilton Mixtape, which topped the Billboard 200 chart.

As a musician he was formerly known by his stage name Riz MC and was a member of the Swet Shop Boys.

His lyrics are known for their insightful and socially conscious awareness about prominent issues including immigration and Islamophobia.

He was featured on the song "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)" in The Hamilton Mixtape, which topped the Billboard 200 chart.

As an activist, he has been involved in raising awareness and funds for Rohingya and Syrian refugee children, and has advocated for representation at the House of Commons.

In 2017, he was included on the front cover of the annual Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people.