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Oscars 2021: Chloe Zhao Becomes First Asian Woman to Win Best Director, Her Film ‘Nomadland’ Takes Home 2 More Top Awards

Nomadland, the American drama film directed by Chloe Zhao, took home three Oscars for best direction, best actress in a leading role, and best picture awards at the 93rd Academy Awards held on Monday. Zhao became the first Asian the second woman ever to win the category.


Yuh-Jung Youn became the second Asian woman to win the best supporting actress, after Japanese-American actor Miyoshi Umeki won in 1957 for Sayonara. The 73-year old South-Korean actor who won her very first Oscar nomination for Minari, said, “It’s nice to understand and embrace each other because people are often categorised by their skin colour and gender, and if you all get put together like a rainbow, it’s so much better.”

Frances McDormand won the best actress award while Anthony Hopkins broke late actor Chadwick Boseman‘s winning streak, taking home the best actor in the leading role for The Father. The Father also also won the best adapted screenplay that Zhao was nominated in as well.

Daniel Kaluuya won the best supporting actor award for Judas and the Black Messiah, making him the fourth Black actor in the last 30 years to win the category.

Denmark’s Another Round continued its winning streak with its win in the Best International Feature Film category.

While Mank and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom saw nominations in 10 and four categories respectively, both bagged awards in the non-performance categories. Mank won in the cinematography and production design categories, while Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won in the best costume and make-up and hairstyle categories.

The audience comprised actors and nominees and presenters like Riz Ahmed and Viola Davis, actors Vanessa Kirby, Andra Del Ray, apart from the presenters for the evening- Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Parasite director Bong Joon Ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, actors Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger, Zendaya, and Steven Yeun.

The ‘In Memoriam’ segment paid tribute to film personalities who died in 2020. Late Hindi actor Irrfan Khan and late Academy Award-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya featured alongside the names of Chadwick Boseman, Sean Connery, Cicely Tyson, and others. Freida Pinto wrote a tribute piece for Khan, who was her co-star in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionnaire. Athaiya had won an Oscar for costume design for Gandhi. 

The 93rd Oscars, hosted by Regina King, was held at the Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, and international locations via satellite.

The list of winners includes:


Best SoundSound of Metal

Best Original ScreenplayPromising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)

Best CinematographyMank

Best Production DesignMank (Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale)


Best EditingSound of Metal (Mikkel EG Nielson)

Best Visual EffectsTenet (Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley, and Scott Fisher)

Best Animated Short FilmIf Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live Action Short FilmTwo Distant Strangers

Best Documentary FeatureMy Octopus Teacher

Best Documentary Short SubjectCollette

Best Original ScoreSoul (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste)

Best Original SongFight For You from Judas and the Black Messiah (H.E.R., Dernst Emile II, and Tiara Thomas)

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award – Tyler Perry