Oscars 2021: Chloe Zhao wins Best Director; creates history as first Asian woman to win
The win also makes her the second woman, and the first woman of colour, to win the Oscar for direction in the 93 years of Academy Awards
Filmmaker Chloe Zhao has won the Oscar in the Best Director category for Nomadland. The win makes her the second woman, after Kathryn Bigelow, to win the Oscar for direction in the 93 years of Academy Awards, and only the first Asian woman and the first woman of colour to win the same.
Nomadland features Frances McDormand (who won her third Oscar for the Best Actress for the film) as a widow from a Nevada mining town who embraces the life of van-dwelling.
Zhao competed against David Fincher (Mank), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round), and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman). The 93rd Academy Awards also marked the first time ever that two female directors were nominated in the category in the same year.
Since the premiere of Nomadland, the Oscar comes as the fifth major award for Zhao, who earlier won the Best Directors awards at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, the BAFTA Film Awards, and the Directors Guild of America award.
Nomadland is Zhao's third feature film. She will also mark her Marvel Cinematic Universe entry when she helms the upcoming Eternals movie. Notably, Eternals will make her the first Academy Award-winning director to helm an MCU film.