In the Academy Awards’ 92-year history, just seven female directors have been nominated for the Best Director prize, with only two taking home the statue. Last year’s broadcast made history as the first to feature two female director nominees in a single year: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman.” Zhao was victorious, becoming the first woman of color to claim gold in the category.
Although this year’s ceremony had only one female nominee—Jane Campion, who eventually won the award—despite multiple buzzy female-directed films, it marked the first time a woman was nominated twice for the directing award. Campion was nominated for Best Directing for her work on “The Power of the Dog,” nearly 30 years after she was for her work on “The Piano” in 1994. That year, Campion won Best Screenplay, while the film’s stars Holly Hunter won Best Actress and Anna Paquin won Best Supporting Actress.
Additional campaigns for diversity around this year’s awards ceremony included coffee sleeves, which advertised work from female nominees on film sets, and a Snapchat lens that will teach users to fingerspell in honor of “CODA” and “Audible,” two nominated films that depict deaf communities.
Parker Herren writes for Crain’s sister publication Ad Age.