Image source: USA Today
It’s a historic win for Director Chloé Zhao. After months of shaping, filming, and editing her award-winning film “Nomadland,” the powerhouse artist takes home two Oscars and the distinction of being the second woman to bag the title for “Best Director” and the first of color to do so.
Chloé Zhao is a renowned and highly-respected director, screenwriter, and producer. Before officially launching a career in cinema, Chloé was already recognized for her filmmaking prowess and eye for detail with her 2010 short film “Daughters.” The movie premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and snagged awards as the “Best Student Live Action Short” of the year.
In 2015, the director turned heads with her debut film “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” at the Sundance Film Festival and, later, at the Cannes Film Festival. Due to its authenticity and Chloé’s unique, compelling signature, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” earned a Best First Feature nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Although the trophy sat next to someone else on the trip home, the nomination was enough to lay the groundwork for the critically-acclaimed success of Chloe’s subsequent work “The Rider.” Released in 2017, “The Rider” follows the self-discovery tale of a young cowboy who struggled to get back up the horse after suffering a severe injury. Poignant and inspiring, the movie won the “Art Cinema Award” at the Cannes Film Festival and the “Bonnie Award.”
As “The Rider” scored multiple nominations, industry giants began to notice Chloé Zhao and her exceptional vision. On April 13, 2018, Sony Pictures Classics set “The Rider” loose and rounded a crowd of awed viewers and critics towards the talented director.
A few years later, “awed” would be inadequate. In 2020, Chloé Zhao returned with “Nomadland” and took the international film scene by storm. Within a year, “Nomadland” had captivated the global audience and drawn countless awards and accolades. Among its shelf of trophies lie a Golden Globe, Directors Guild of America Award, BAFTA, and last April 25, two Oscars.
“I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met, everywhere I went in the world,” Chloé shared in her acceptance speech during the 93rd Academy Awards. “This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that.”
Making Oscar history, Chloé Zhao is recognized as the second woman to have won “Best Director” following Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010, and is the first of color to bring home the prize, along with the award for “Best Picture.”
Before winning the trophies, Chloé was up for nominations in four categories: directing, screenplay, editing, and producing. Having done all thoroughly and flawlessly – birthing the compelling “Nomadland,” nothing greeted the multi-faceted artist’s wins but warm applause.
So, what’s next for the celebrated director? After stacking trophies and raking in nominations, Chloé Zhao is warming up for a clean dive into the Marvel cinematic universe. This November 5, 2021, Chloé will be leading the star-studded cast of “Eternals,” featuring Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kumail Nanjiani, among others, to theaters nationwide.