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Home / Achieving Woman

Chloé Zhao becomes first woman of Asian descent to win the Golden Globes

 Chloé Zhao became the first woman of Asian descent to win at the Golden Globe awards (Photo: Instagram @voguemagazine)

Chloé Zhao made Golden Globe history on Sunday when she became the first woman of Asian descent to win at the awards. Zhao won the Best Director award for her film Nomadland

The film also received the Best Motion Picture award. 

“This award belongs to the whole 'Nomadland' team,” Zhao said in the virtual awards. “Thank you, everyone who made it possible for me to do what I love.”

Zhao becomes the second woman to ever win the best director award in the 78 years that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has held the Golden Globes. Barbara Streisand won in 1983 for her film Yiendl.

 Zhao during her acceptance speech (Photo: NBC)

The HFPA which decides the Golden Globes has over the years come under fire for its lack of diversity in nominations and naming winners. 

However, this year three women were nominated in the Best Director category of which Zhao emerged the winner. The other two nominees were Regina King and Emerald Fennell. 

Over the years only eight women have been nominated in this category. 

 She is also the second woman to receive the award (Photo: Twitter @TheFilmUpdates)

Zhao was born in Beijing, China and moved to Los Angeles to attend high school. She then attained a bachelor’s degree in political science before going on to study film production at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Her first feature film Songs My Brothers Taught Me premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and later played at the Cannes Film Festival. It was nominated for Best First Feature at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards.

Her 2017 film The Rider received critical acclaim and Zhao became the first inaugural winner of the Bonnie Award which recognizes a mid-career female director. In 2018, Amazon Studios announced that Zhao would direct the upcoming Bass Reeves biopic, a historical Western about the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal.

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