Nomadland Director Chloe Zhao Nominated For Top Prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards
A year after omitting women entirely, Hollywood's directors nominated two female filmmakers for their top prize for the first time in the awards' seven-decade history.
Nomadland director Chloe Zhao and Promising Young Woman helmer Emerald Fennell become the ninth and tenth women nominated for the Directors Guild of America's outstanding feature film category.
"I congratulate our five nominees whose diverse and extraordinary films embodied that universal power in a year that will never be forgotten," said DGA president Thomas Schlamme in a statement.
Beijing-born Zhao and British director Fennell are joined on the diverse shortlist by Lee Isaac Chung, who drew on his Korean-American immigrant family history for acclaimed drama Minari.
The category is rounded out by David Fincher—for Hollywood Golden Age reimagining Mank—and Aaron Sorkin for 1960s courthouse drama The Trial of the Chicago 7.
The DGA Awards are a strong indicator of the Oscars best director prize.
Only one woman—Kathryn Bigelow—has won the DGA top honour, and she went on to scoop the only female best director Oscar win in history for 2009's The Hurt Locker.
Last year the major award shows including the DGAs and Oscars shut out all female-helmed films in their director categories, with the absence of Greta Gerwig for her acclaimed Little Women drawing a particular backlash.
The industry has come under increasing scrutiny for its lack of diversity in recent years.
The DGA also unveiled five nominees for the first-time feature director prize, including Regina King for One Night in Miami and Radha Blank for The Forty-Year-Old Version.
The DGAs winners will be unveiled at a private virtual event on April 10, some two weeks before the pandemic-delayed Oscars.