Chloé Zhao Becomes First Woman Of Colour To Win Best Director Oscar

by : Cameron Frew on : 26 Apr 2021 01:59
Chloé Zhao Becomes First Woman Of Colour To Win Best Director OscarSearchlight Pictures

Chloé Zhao has won Best Director for Nomadland at the Oscars, the first woman of colour in history to do so. 

The Chinese-American filmmaker’s critically-acclaimed drama has earned near-universal praise since it was first screened last year, racking up awards as it moved through each ceremony, before arriving at the Academy Awards to do battle with the other contenders.


As well as being the first to win, Zhao was the first woman of colour to ever be nominated for Best Director, and the second female winner overall next to Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. She’s also the most-nominated woman in a single year in Oscars history.

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In the Best Director category, Zhao emerged victorious over Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, David Fincher for Mank and Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round.

Only seven women have ever been nominated for Best Picture: Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties; Jane Campion for The Piano; Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation; Bigelow for The Hurt Locker; Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird; and this year alone, Zhao and Fennell.

Nomadland 3Searchlight Pictures
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In our review, we wrote: ‘From Songs My Brother Taught Me, to The Rider, to this, the filmmaker has continually captured a side of America – a vibe – rarely framed on-screen. The states are imposingly vast, but it’s no wasteland; its richness is sprinkled, not towering.’

Nomadland will receive its UK release on May 21. To do the film justice, try and see it on a big screen if you can.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Academy Awards, Oscars