Chloé Zhao won the Golden Globe for Best Director, a history-making victory as she is now just the second woman to win the category in the Globes’ 78-year history. The first and previously only woman to win Best Director at the Globes was Barbra Streisand for “Yentl.” Zhao was awarded Best Director for her work on “Nomadland,” which also won her the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Zhao’s fellow nominees in 2021 were David Fincher (“Mank”), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman), and Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”).
Even before the 2021 Golden Globes ceremony, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made history by nominating three women for Best Director. Never before had more than one woman filmmaker been nominated in the category in a single year. Zhao, Fennell, and King’s nominations marked the first time in six years that women directors landed a spot in the Best Director category. Prior to 2021, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay was the last woman to compete in the category at the 2015 Golden Globes.