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"Hidden Figures," Film Based on McIntire Alum’s Bestselling Book, Nominated for Three Oscars, Including Best Picture

January 25, 2017

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Hidden Figures
Margot Shetterly’s book, "Hidden Figures," has become a box office blockbuster.

Box office hit "Hidden Figures," based on McIntire alum Margot Shetterly’s (McIntire '91) bestselling book, has earned a coveted Best Picture nomination for its portrayal of three African-American women who fought systemic discrimination to play critical roles in John Glenn's successful space launch. The film, which beat out major films like "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" to top box office sales during its opening weekend, also earned Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer’s portrayal of mathematician Dorothy Vaughn.

"This is really an all-American story, told through the eyes of these women during the great feats of the American 20th century—World War II, the civil rights campaign, the space race, and the fight for gender equality," said Shetterly, who served as a historical consultant for the film. "All of these things define the 20th century, which is what this book is about. I hope people see it as a fusion of American history."

"Hidden Figures" is one of two Academy Award-nominated films based on bestselling books by UVA alumni (UVA alum and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind also earned an Oscar nod for "Life Animated," nominated for Best Documentary Feature). Each shares moving stories of resilience, strength, and compassion, told by people who are passionate about bringing those stories to life.

Read the UVA Today story.