Chinese-born filmmaker Chloe Zhao, who told the story of financially stretched van dwellers in the United States in ‘Nomadland’ has become the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. Zhao also is one of only seven women to be nominated for best director.
The Beijing-born filmmaker this year also took home the best director prize at the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the Directors Guild of America ceremonies. At the Awards ceremonies on Sunday in Los Angeles in the US, the 39-year-old also took home the award for Best Picture for the film, which stars actress Frances McDormand and a number of real-life nomads who travel the US looking for work. Zhao was born in China and lived in Beijing until age 14, when she went to boarding school in London. She later moved to Los Angeles where she finished high school and then attended film school in New York.
In another historical moment, Yuh-jung Youn became the first South Korean to win the best-supporting actress Oscar, picking up the award for ‘Minari’. Youn is the second Asian to win in the category, following Japanese actress Miyoshi Umeki’s triumph more than six decades ago with “Sayonara.” This was the first Oscar nomination for Yuh-Jung Youn. The award was presented by Brad Pitt. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her cast, crew and director for giving her the opportunity as well as her kids for letting her work.