Oscars 2021: Female Directors Break Record for Most Nominations in One Year

Oscars: Female Directors Break Record for Most Nominations in One Year

 

Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images; Rich Polk/Getty Images

For the first time, more than one female director has been nominated in the best director category.

For the first time in the Academy Awards’ nearly century-old history, more than one female director has been nominated in the best director category.

Directors Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) were both nominated in the best director category for the 93rd Academy Awards, with Zhao also becoming the first non-white woman to be nominated.

In total, only five women have been nominated in the best director category. The first woman nominated in the category was Lina Wertmüller in 1977 for Seven Beauties, followed by nominations for Jane Campion (The Piano, 1994), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, 2003), Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, 2010), and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, 2018).

Bigelow is the first and only woman to win in the category.

Zhao is the first woman to receive four nominations in a single year; she is nominated in the film editing, adapted screenplay, director, and best picture categories. 

Fennell, who is the first woman to be nominated for a feature directorial debut, received three nominations, the third woman to do so, along with Coppola for Lost in Translation and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King).

The Oscar nominations come after women directors made history at the Golden Globes, where female directors — Zhao, and Fennell and Regina King — made up the majority of the category. Zhao went on to win the award, becoming the second woman ever to win the best director award and the first Asian woman to do so.

Along with Zhao and Fennell, the other nominees in the category are Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), David Fincher (Mank), and Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round).

The 93rd annual Academy Awards will take place on April 25.