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Jane Campion becomes 3rd woman to win the Best Director Oscar

For only the third time in history — but the second time in the past 12 months — a woman has won the Best Director Oscar. 

Jane Campion won Best Director at Sunday's Academy Awards for The Power of the Dog, becoming the third woman to ever win the award in Oscars history. 

"Thank you, Academy," she said. "It's a lifetime honor." 

The first woman to win Best Director was Kathryn Bigelow, who took the prize in 2010 for The Hurt Locker. It took another 11 years, but in 2021, Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win Best Director for Nomadland. Zhao was the first woman of color to win, and both films also won Best Picture. 

Campion's victory came nearly 30 years after she was nominated for Best Director for The Piano at the 1994 Oscars, though she lost to Steven Spielberg for Schindler's List. This year was something of a rematch, then. This time, Campion beat Spielberg, who was nominated for his remake of West Side Story

In the more than 90-year history of the Academy Awards, just seven women have been nominated for Best Director: Campion, Bigelow, and Zhao, as well as Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. But Campion holds the distinction of being the only woman nominated for Best Director more than once.

This also marks the first time Best Director went to a woman in two consecutive years. The Power of the Dog is vying for Best Picture in a close race with CODA, and although CODA's Sian Heder didn't receive a directing nomination, it was a rare instance in which the two frontrunners for the top award were both helmed by women.