Chloe Zhao makes history at BAFTA Film Awards as ‘Nomadland’ dominates ceremony

Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Chloe Zhao rewrote history at the BAFTA Film Awards.

The director and screenwriter behind “Nomadland” achieved a momentous milestone Sunday as the first woman of color to win best director at the British awards show.

The award was one of four honors received by “Nomandland,” which centers on a widow who travels the Western U.S. in a van after losing her job in an economic recession. The movie also took home the BAFTA trophies for best picture, best cinematography and best actress for star Frances McDormand.

The Chinese-born Zhao is only the second woman to win best director at a BAFTA Film Awards ceremony, following Kathryn Bigelow, who received the honor in 2010 for “The Hurt Locker.”

Zhao dedicated Sunday’s best film win to the nomadic community. Her film features numerous real-life nomads in its cast.

“They shared with us their dreams, their struggles and their deep sense of dignity,” Zhao said over a video stream.

“Thank you for showing us that aging is a beautiful part of life, a journey we should all cherish and celebrate. How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better.”