Chloe Zhao Makes History with “Nomadland” at the Golden Globes

Article by: Julie

Edited by: Chris

Visuals by: Yana

Chloe Zhao has won Best Director for “Nomadland”, which was awarded Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes this week. Not only was “Nomadland” the first movie directed by a woman that has won Best Motion Picture, Chloe Zhao is the first Asian woman and second woman who has ever been awarded in the best director category in the Golden Globe’s 78 year history. This event is significant as it sets an example for young women in the film and directing industry. It will most likely prompt more women of color to enter the field, a pivotal development in an industry that has been dominated by white men since its establishment. 

“Nomadland” tells a story of a nomad woman named Fern as she travels across modern America. The low-budget film has been directed, edited, and written by Chloe Zhao, and boasts amazing screenplay and  meticulous cinematography. In her best director acceptance speech, Zhao thanked her team and the many nomads who had shared their story with her, and recognized the significance of her win in the virtual backstage comment, “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” 

The 78th annual Golden Globe has made history with not only Zhao’s win, but also with three women directors nominated for the best director category, something never before seen in history. Female directors have also been underrepresented in many of these award ceremonies, with only eight total nominations in the nearly 80 year  history of the Golden Globes. This is why Zhao’s accomplishment  marks such a significant milestone in the directing industry, paving the way for young women directors, and putting spotlight on other movies directed by them

What makes Zhao’s win so significant is that it has set a precedent in the directing industry, fighting deeply rooted societal stereotypes that have given men the role of a director. Many women in the industry are barred by the lack of model figures they can aspire to be, and are constantly marginalized simply due to their gender identities, restricting them from dreaming bigger. Just the media exposure that Zhao has received will cause a ripple effect, encouraging more women to join the directing industry and slowly change this obsolete stigma. 

Hopefully, the success of women such as Zhao will be commonplace one day, as the film industry progresses forward from its prejudiced past to a brighter and more equitable dawn.

Works Cited

Aurthur, Kate. “Chloe Zhao Becomes Second Woman to Win Golden Globe for Directing as ‘Nomadland’ Makes History.” Variety, Variety, 1 Mar. 2021,

Blyth, Antonia. “Golden Globe Winner Chloé Zhao On Increased Violence Against Asian People: ‘People With So Much Hate, Maybe They Just Hate Themselves.’” Deadline, Deadline, 1 Mar. 2021,

“Chloe Zhao’s Historic Win Is a Victory for All Asians.” 404,’s win serves as an,their own should think again.

“Golden Globes 2021: a Night of Fine Choices Capped by Chloé Zhao Making History | Peter Bradshaw.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 Mar. 2021,

Gonzalez, Sandra. “Chloé Zhao Makes History at Golden Globes.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 Mar. 2021,