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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Hollywood directors nominate two women for top prize in historic first

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A year after omitting women entirely, Hollywood s directors Tuesday 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 honor, 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 Tuesday 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.

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