Chloe Zhao Becomes First Woman of Color to Win Oscar for Best Director

Chloe Zhao has made history as the first woman of color to win the Oscar for best director on April 25.

The 39-year-old Chinese filmmaker won the award for her third feature film, “Nomadland,” a drama about a woman living as a modern-day nomad.

“This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold out to the goodness in themselves and to hold out to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that,” Zhao said in her acceptance speech.

Zhao is the first woman of color to be nominated and the second woman overall to win the Oscar after over a decade since Katheryn Bigelow won for “The Hurt Locker,” a 2009 drama about the Iraq War.

Zhao is also the first woman to receive four Oscar nominations in one year — Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.

This year’s Oscars marks the first time that two women were nominated for best director, with the other director being Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” Only seven woman in total have been nominated for the award.

This year also marks the first time two Asian directors were nominated, with the other director being Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari.”


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