For the first time in the history of the Oscars, more than one woman is in contention for Best Director this year.
The 2021 Oscar nominations were unveiled on Monday, and two women were nominated for Best Director: Nomadland's Chloé Zhao and Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell. This is the first time ever that more than one woman has received a Best Director nomination at the same Oscars ceremony.
The other nominees for Best Director were Another Round's Thomas Vinterberg, Mank's David Fincher, and Minari's Lee Isaac Chung.
Prior to Monday's nominations, just five women had ever been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. The previous Oscar-nominated female directors were Seven Beauties' Lina Wertmüller, The Piano's Jane Campion, Lost in Translation's Sofia Coppola, The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow, and Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig.
The 2021 Golden Globes previously made history by nominating three female directors in the same year for the first time, and Zhao ultimately won the award, becoming the first Asian woman ever to do so. Zhao on Monday also became the first Asian woman to ever be nominated for the Best Director Oscar, and she's considered the frontrunner to win on the big night. If she or Fennell do so, they would become only the second woman to ever win the Best Director Oscar after Kathryn Bigelow.