Oscars 2021: For the First Time, 2 Women Are Up for Best Director

Chloe Zhao’s nomination also makes it the very first time a woman of colour is in race for the coveted award.

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Gender
1 min read
Chloe Zhao’s nomination also makes it the very first time a woman of colour is in race for the coveted award.
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For the first time in the history of the Academy Awards, two women – Chloe Zhao (Nomadland), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) – were nominated for Best Director, in the 2021 Oscars.

Zhao’s nomination also makes it the very first time a woman of colour is in race for the coveted award. Earlier, in February, she made history by becoming just the second woman ever to win Best Director at the Golden Globes.

Zhao is also the first Asian woman and second Asian director to take home the prize at the Golden Globes.

According to Variety, Zhao became the most-awarded filmmaker in a single awards season – after she directed, wrote, produced, and edited the acclaimed film.

Incidentally, Fennell was also nominated for Golden Globes in 2021, along with Regina King for One Night in Miami. King, however, did not make it to the Oscars nomination.

The Fennell and Zhao duo are up against Lee Isaac Chung for (Minari), David Fincher (Mank) and Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round).

Five Nominations, Just One Win in 90-Year-History

In the almost 90-year history of the award, only five female directors have been nominated:

  • 1976 - Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties
  • 1993 - Jane Campion for The Piano
  • 2003 - Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation
  • 2009 - Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
  • 2017 - Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird

It took 48 years for the Academy to nominate its first female director and only one has ever won the award – Kathryn Bigelow, for The Hurt Locker.

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