It is award season again, where those in entertainment are celebrated by their peers. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the show goes on and awards are presented and already some milestones have been hit. This year the Golden Globes for the first time in its history had 3 women nominated for best director: Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) and Regina King (“One Night in Miami”); up against David Fincher (“Mank”) and Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”). Zhao would go on to receive the award, becoming the second woman and the first Asian woman to win.
As diversity and inclusion has been and continues to be an important discussion in Hollywood, Zhao’s win reminds us how far we have to go as so many “firsts” are still to come. “Before this year, only five women directors had been nominated in the history of the Globes: Streisand (for ‘Yentl’, for which she won, and in 1991 for ‘The Prince of Tides’), Jane Campion (in 1994 for ‘The Piano’), Sofia Coppola (in 2004 for ‘Lost in Translation’), Kathryn Bigelow (in 2010 for ‘The Hurt Locker’ and 2013 for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’), and Ava DuVernay (in 2015 for ‘Selma’).”
In addition to the lack of nominations, it cannot be forgotten that the lack of opportunity for women to direct must be emphasized. With studios choosing to consider men time and time again, we do not get to see the abilities and skills of many female directors in the mainstream. This also impacts who we, the public, see in front of the camera, as noted by Film Critic Anna Smith to the BBC:
“[She] believes it boils down to unconscious bias. ‘Some studios might consider a female director more of a ‘risk’ than a male director, whether they admit it or not’ she says. ‘So if a film is directed by a man, and financed by male studio heads, you may be more likely to see a gender imbalance.’”
For this year, we can celebrate Zhao’s triumph which also includes being the most awarded filmmaker in a single awards season having directed, written, produced and edited “Nomadland.” The film has received multiple accolades in addition to best director at the Golden Globes and is now a front runner for the biggest accolade of the season: the Oscars.
 Kate Authur, “Chloe Zhao Becomes Second Woman to Win Golden Globe for Directing as ‘Nomadland’ Makes History,” Variety, February 28, 2021, https://variety.com/2021/film/news/chloe-zhao-best-director-golden-globe-nomadland-1234916474/.
 Miriam Quick, “The data that reveals the film industry’s ‘woman problem’,” BBC, May 9, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180508-the-data-that-reveals-the-film-industrys-woman-problem.