'Nomadland' Director Chloe Zhao Becomes First Female to Win DGA Award in Over a Decade

The female filmmaker makes history with her big win at the 2021 Directors Guild of America Awards, more than 10 years after Kathryn Bigelow took home the prize.

AceShowbiz - "Nomadland" filmmaker Chloe Zhao has inched ever closer to Oscars victory after making history by securing the top prize at the 2021 Directors Guild of America Awards.

Zhao has been racking up the accolades during the current awards season, and on Saturday (10Apr21), she added the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film honour to her resume for her work on the Frances McDormand drama.

She becomes only the second female director to claim the prestigious award, following in the footsteps of Kathryn Bigelow, who was saluted for 2008's "The Hurt Locker".

Zhao beat out "Minari" 's Lee Isaac Chung, "Promising Young Woman" 's Emerald Fennell, "Mank" 's David Fincher, and"The Trial of the Chicago 7" 's Aaron Sorkin to take home the title, and she used her acceptance speech during the virtual ceremony to heap praise on her fellow nominees.

After sharing her admiration for each peer's work, she added, "Thank you for teaching me so much and showing me your support."

Her latest victory is a promising indicator for Zhao's chances of earning the Best Director gold at the Oscars, as DGA officials have previously only chosen a different winner on eight occasions in the organisation's 73-year history.

Last year (20) was one of the few anomalies - Sam Mendes picked up the DGA's top prize for "1917" while Bong Joon Ho was named Best Director for "Parasite" at the Academy Awards.

Meanwhile, "Sound of Metal" director Darius Marder was recognised in the First-Time Feature Film category, as "The Flight Attendant" 's Susanna Fogel, "Homeland" 's Lesli Linka Glatter, and "The Queen's Gambit" director Scott Frank led the TV prizes, with Don Roy King winning his seventh DGA award for his work on longrunning U.S. comedy show "Saturday Night Live".

The full list of winners is:

  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film: Chloe Zhao, "Nomadland"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director: Darius Marder, "Sound of Metal"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary: Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw, "The Truffle Hunters"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series: Scott Frank, "The Queen's Gambit"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series: Lesli Linka Glatter, "Homeland" (Prisoners of War)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series: Susanna Fogel, "The Flight Attendant" (In Case of Emergency)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports - Regularly Scheduled Programming: Don Roy King, "Saturday Night Live" (Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports - Specials: Thomas Schlamme, "A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs: Joseph Guidry, "Full Bloom" (Petal to the Metal)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs: Amy Schatz, "We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest"
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials: Melina Matsoukas, "You Love Me, Beats by Dr. Dre - Translation]"
  • Robert B. Aldrich Award: Betty Thomas
  • Frank Capra Achievement Award: Brian Frankish
  • Franklin Schaffner Award: Joyce Thomas
  • Lifetime Membership Award: Paris Barclay

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