Chloé Zhao has become only the second female director in the Academy Award’s 93-year history to win Best Director for her film, ‘Nomadland’. She also makes history by becoming the first ever woman of colour to win the award.
“Thank you to my entire ‘Nomadland’ company,” the 39-year old director began. “What a crazy once in a lifetime journey we’ve been on together. Thank you so much, I’m so grateful to you.”
Zhao went on to describe what inspires her to do what she does.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard. I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid. When I was growing up in China, my dad and I used to play this game. We would memorise classic Chinese poems and texts and we would recite it together and try to finish each other’s sentences.”
“There was one I remember, so dearly. It’s called the ‘Three Character Classics’, and the first phrase goes – (speaks Mandarin) ‘People at birth are inherently good.’ And those six letters had such big impact on me as a kid. I still truly believe that today. I have always found goodness in the people I meet, everywhere I went in the world. This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves. And the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult.”
“This is for you. You inspire me to keep going.”
Zhao also congratulated her fellow nominees, calling them ‘brilliant’. They included Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari”, Emerald Fennell for ‘Promising Young Woman’, David Fincher for ‘Mank’ and Thomas Vinterberg for ‘Another Round’.