Female directors have been underrepresented in the history of the Oscars. Until last year, only five women had been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Direction: Lina Wermüller (1976), Jane Campion (1993), Sofia Coppola (2004), Kathryn Bigelow (2010) and Greta Gerwig (2018). This year, for the first time, two women have been nominated: in addition to Chloe Zhao, Emerald Fennell also has a chance with her film “Promising young woman”. Other nominees include Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”), David Fincher (“Mank”) and Thomas Vinterberg (“Drunk”).
Zhao can also make history, being the first woman of Asian descent to win an Oscar for Best Direction. Last year, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the prize for the film “Parasite”. Taiwanese director Ang Lee preceded him, as the first non-white director to win the Oscar for best director. He has even been awarded the prize twice, in 2005 for “Brokeback Mountain” and in 2012 for “Life of Pi”.
The Oscars will be awarded in Los Angeles on April 25.