Singaporean sound editor Ai-Ling Lee did not win any awards at the Oscars this year. The 38-year-old was nominated under two categories - Best Sound Editing, along with Andy Nelson and Steve A. Morrow, and Best Sound Mixing, along with Mildred Latrou Morgan.
In the sound mixing category (nominated for La La Land), she lost to Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, and Arrival walked away with the Best Sound Editing award. Over the years, it has become a rare scenario to find a woman sound editor with many big Hollywood films under her kitty.
Lee and Iatrou Morgan are also the first women and second Asian after India's Resul Pookutty to receive an Academy Award nomination for sound.
Lee is a renowned name in Hollywood and she has worked in many record breaking films like Bruce Almighty (2003), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), Tangled (2010), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), The Maze Runner (2014–15), Deadpool (2016), and La La Land (2017).
Interestingly, while talking to Today Online on the Oscar nominations, Lee said: "I guess it'll be a long night on Sunday with all the after parties, and on Monday (things) will be back (to normal), hopefully." When quipped about how other Singaporeans can follow in her footsteps, she said: "It's very important to be creative and to be open to ideas and try things ... I learned the most on the job. The school is good to teach you the basics and fundamentals but in the end, it's really up to (you to build) your creativity and good communication with the filmmakers."
Meanwhile, musical romantic La La Land - written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and an aspiring actress - has created records at the 89th Academy Awards. With a record-tying 14 nominations, the film walked away with six golden statuettes.