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Chloe Zhao Becomes First Woman of Colour to Win the Directorial Director’s Guild of America Award for ‘Nomadland’

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Photo Credit- Screenshot of Chloe Zhao's speech at the Golden Globes Awards, 2021.

Chloe Zhao, the director of Nomadland, won the Director’s Guild of America Award (DGA) for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2020, becoming the second woman and the first woman of colour to win the title.

Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win the prize in 2008 for The Hurt Locker.

The virtual ceremony was held on Saturday and is considered to be a bellwether of the Oscars. Zhao and Nomadland have already won the Golden Globe Awards for best film and best director, as well as the Critics Choice Awards in the same categories.

In her speech, Zhao thanked her fellow nominees, including David Fincher for Mank, Lee Isaac Chung for Minari and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, all of have been nominated in the Best Directing category for the Oscars along with Zhao.

Apart from praising all of them, she said, “Thank you for teaching me so much and showing me your support.”

The 73rd edition of the DGA saw several women filmmakers earning nominations, including Radha Blank (The Forty-Year-Old Version) and Regina King’s (for One Night in Miami).

Darius Marder won the best directorial award in the first-time feature film category for the film Sound of Metal. Marder’s film also won the British Academy for Film Awards for the best sound.

In the television segment, Lesli Linka Glatter won for Homeland, Susanna Fogel won for HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, and Amy Schatz’ We Are The Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest for HBO.

While creator Scott Frank won the directorial award for the Golden Globe winner The Queen’s Gambit, Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw won in the documentary category for The Truffle Hunters.

Winners in other major categories include:

Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Theatrical Feature Film-Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement Of A First-Time Feature Film Director – Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary – Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw (The Truffle Hunters) (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series – Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit) (Netflix)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming – Don Roy King (Saturday Night Live), “Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters” (NBC)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials – Thomas Schlamme (A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote) (HBO Max)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs – Joseph Guidry (Full Bloom), “Petal to the Metal” (HBO Max)

The full list of winners is linked here.

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