Los Angeles: Romantic musical La La Land led the Oscar nominations on Tuesday with 14 nods, including the top prize of best picture and best actor nominations for its stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
It will contend with sci-fi movie Arrival with eight nods; war movie Hacksaw Ridge; modern western Hell or High Water; and dramas Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, Lion and Fences.
The 14 nominations of La La Land for the highest honours in the movie industry equaled the record held by 1997 blockbuster Titanic and the 1950 film All About Eve.
In the best actor category, Gosling will compete with Casey Affleck, who plays a grieving father in Manchester by the Sea; Fences star Denzel Washington; British actor Andrew Garfield of Hacksaw Ridge and Viggo Mortensen’s unorthodox dad in Captain Fantastic.
In a key difference from 2106 and 2015, seven people of colour were among the acting nominees, and four of the five best picture contenders told African-American or Indian stories.
They included supporting actor nominees Dev Patel for Lion, and Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris for Moonlight, the tale of a young boy struggling with his sexual identity in an impoverished Miami neighbourhood.
Hidden Figures, about three black female mathematicians working on the US space program in the 1960s, brought a supporting actress nod for Octavia Spencer.
Last year, all 20 acting nominees were white, unleashing an #OscarsSoWhite backlash on social media for the second consecutive year.
Some notable absences on Tuesday’s list included Annette Bening’s star turn in 20th Century Women” and Amy Adams performance as a linguist in Arrival.
Martin Scorsese’s religious passion project Silence, which was 28 years in the making, was missing from the main categories and earned just one nomination, for sound editing.
Jimmy Kimmel will host the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood on 26 February. Reuters