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Chloé Zhao Wins Oscar for Best Director, Making Her the Second Woman to Receive the Award

Busayo Ogunjimi
Apr 26, 2021
06:50 P.M.
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Chloe Zhao made history during Sunday's Oscar Awards to become the first woman of color and the second female in history to win an Oscar for the Best Director category. 


When Chloe Zhao started her career as a director, she probably never envisaged that she would emerge a winner from Sunday's 93rd Academy Awards. Her name is written in the history books for many good reasons.

At 39, Zhao's career has become symbolic for people of color and enforces the emergence of female directors as the next big thing in the movie industry.

Director Chloe Zhao attends a special screening of "The Rider" at the Writers Guild Theater on April 11, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images


On Sunday's awards, Zhao's "Nomadland" made history by earning the award of Best Director, an award that carried with it double honors for the 39-year-old.

First, she became the first woman of color to be awarded the category and also the second female in history to grab the prestigious award. The moment was nothing short of magical for the newly recognized director.


Zhao's win comes timely for the Asian community, in a time where it is believed they have become prime targets of abuse and violence, especially their women.

Her win would help improve the image of Asian women in Hollywood and help eradicate the stereotypes they have been subjected to over the years.

Zhao's "Nomadland" has been praised by movie critics.


The first woman to win the highly coveted prize was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for her movie, "The Hurt Locker," while Ang Lee was the first Asian director to win the award in 2006 for "Brokeback Mountain."

The iconic moment was shared on Twitter where thousands of fans had the moment to jump up on the historic wagon and congratulate the 39-year-old for writing a new chapter in history.


The night was completed with a special acceptance from Zhao, who reflected on her childhood and her little journey to stardom. She dedicated the victory to those who keep believing in themselves.

The award was presented to her virtually by last year's winner, Parasite's Bong Joon-ho. This was Zhao's first Academy Award nomination and first win, and she had her entire team to thank.


According to reports, before the 2021 ceremony, only five women had ever been nominated for the special category: Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Greta Gerwig, and Bigelow.

The 39-year-old "The Rider" star follows the steps of Kathryn Bigelow, the brain behind 2009's war thriller "The Hurt Locker," as the only woman to have been awarded the best director statue in 93 years. 

Zhao's "Nomadland" has been praised by movie critics for its creativity and ability to tell a fictional story in such a way that it captures true human experiences. Her fans are on the look for more of her works.