The Chinese filmmaker became the first female director of Asian descent, the first woman of color, and the second woman to ever win the Golden Globe for best director for her film Nomadland. Later in the ceremony, she set more records and won the Best Motion Picture Drama Award, making her the first Asian woman to receive the coveted producer award.
Nomadland is also the first film in which a woman wins the grand prize in the history of the globes, which is now in its 78th year.
Speaking about her Night of History in a virtual press conference, Zhao said, “Sometimes a premiere feels like a long time. I am sure there are many others before me who deserve the same recognition. I just love what I do, I just really love it. If that means more people like me can live their dream and do what I do, then I am happy. “
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According to Variety, Zhao is the most honored filmmaker in a single awards season for directing, writing, producing, and editing Nomadland, which has now secured its position as an Oscar front-runner.
The Eternals filmmaker was one of three women nominated for Best Director – the first time more than one female nomination was featured in the category – and she beat Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Regina King for One Night in Miami and David Fincher for Mank and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7 to win the award.
Zhao follows in the footsteps of Barbra Streisand, who was named Best Director for Yentl in 1984. Streisand went on Twitter on Sunday evening and congratulated.
“It’s time! Congratulations Chloé! Well deserved!” she praised.