Emerald Fennell is the first British woman has been nominated for a Best Director Oscar! And considering only five women have been up for the award before this year, that’s a pretty good strike rate… but reflects a pretty poor history.
It’s been an odd year for films, and the 93rd Academy Awards people have taken the opportunity to nominate two women in the for Best Director director category in this year’s Oscars. It’s the first time more than two have been nominated in one year. Maybe they think the controversy of last year would be forgotten along with so many release dates. British director Emerald Fennell is up for her film Promising Young Woman, and Chloe Zhao has been nominated for her Nomadland.
Commenting on the Oscar nominations, Professor Linda Ruth Williams, from the University of Exeter, who researches the work of female filmmakers, said: “The news from the American Academy of the nomination in Best Director category of Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell is very welcome, though this is of course still less than 50 per cent of the five nominees.
“The film and TV industries have been so slow to change, and this news has been a very long time coming – the Oscars started in 1929.
“We can feel pleased by this incremental move in the right direction, and celebrate two very interesting films made by strong teams – including some brilliant woman practitioners across the many filmmaking roles.
“But I for one am looking forward to the time when the presence of female nominees in the Best Director category will no longer be a news story, but rather business as usual for an equal industry.”
Exeter Uni has a recent history with the Oscars, A Fantastic Woman, which bagged Best Foreign Film in 2018 was written and produced by Gonzalo Maza, who was at the univeristy working towards his PhD in Film.
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