‘Nomadland’ Director Chloé Zhao Just Made History with Her BAFTA Win

Chloé Zhao recently made history as the first woman of Asian descent to ever win a Golden Globe for Best Director. And now, she’s doing it again.

At last night’s 74th annual BAFTA Awards, the Nomadland filmmaker took home the award for Best Direction. Not only is she the second female in history to win this particular category, but she’s also the first woman of Asian descent.

Zhao is following in the footsteps of Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first female winner with The Hurt Locker in 2010. The director was nominated alongside three other females: Sarah Gavron (Rocks), Shannon Murphy (Babyteeth) and Jasmila Žbanić (Quo Vadis, Aida?). Other Best Direction nominees included Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari).

During her acceptance speech, Zhao thanked “the nomadic community who so generously welcomed us into their lives. How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society, and we need to do better.”

She continued, “If this means more people like me get to live their dreams, then I feel very grateful.”

Zhao is a 39-year-old director, screenwriter and producer to watch. She made her directorial debut in 2015 with Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which she directed, wrote and produced. Other projects include The Rider and—of course—Nomadland, which was rated the best movie of 2020 (according to Metacritic).

Hats off to Zhao for this well-deserved win.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...