Chloe Zhao made history at the 93rd Academy Awards, becoming the first woman of color to win best director and just the second woman to win the award.
At the in-person event in Los Angeles’ Union Station on April 25, Zhao won the directing Oscar for Nomadland, joining Kathryn Bigelow, who won in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.
“I’m extremely lucky to be able to do what I love for a living,” she said backstage. “This win means more people get to live their dreams. I’m extremely grateful.”
This was the only year in the awards’ 93-year history with two female nominees: Zhao and Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell.
Zhao’s film, starring Frances McDormand, tells the story of a woman in her 60s and other transient workers in the American West. The film won best picture and McDormand took home the award for best actress.
Wearing braids and sporting white tennis shoes, Zhao thanked her entire cast and crew. She also paid homage to those who inspired her to “keep going.”
“This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and hold onto the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that,” she said during her acceptance speech. “This is for you. You inspire me to keep going.” (AP)