Chloé Zhao‘s Nomadland is the movie with the most buzz coming out of 2020 and into the 2021 awards season. Now Variety has reported that Zhao will receive the Best Director award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards. Zhao is the first woman ever to be honored with this award, which sets the stage for her at other awards events moving forward.
This will also be the first time the ceremony will not be held in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There will be an airing of some sort of virtual ceremony honoring the winners on Entertainment Tonight later in February. However, the festival will be announcing the winners on their website.
So far in addition to Zhao, Carey Mulligan has taken home the International Star Award for Promising Young Woman and Gary Oldman has received the Chairman’s Award for his performance in Mank. While these are certainly fantastic awards, this festival also shows the frontrunners for later awards ceremonies.
Zhao has slowly been building her resume over the last half decade. In that time span she has directed and written four features including Marvel’s Eternals, which originally was scheduled for a 2020 release. A busy year to be sure. Her other features include 2015 and 2017’s Songs My Brother Taught Me and The Rider, respectively.
Zhao has already had an incredible year with Nomadland being the frontrunner for most awards show, but also with the release of her first blockbuster in the next Cosmic MCU film. It can get even better if she becomes only the sixth woman to be nominated for best director, the last being Great Gerwig for Lady Bird. Though it is clear Zhao has been the talk of the town the last few years. With Nomadland or more likely Eternals perhaps making her a household name.
Seeing that most 2020 movies were pushed back, the upcoming awards season should be unlike any seen before. There are great movies coming out directed by women and if the Palm Springs Film Awards are any indication, perhaps more women will start to be recognized in a mostly male centric industry. Perhaps Regina King, who directed One Night in Miami (streaming now on Amazon Prime), and Chloé Zhao both make history this year.
Nomadland will be streaming on Hulu on February 19, 2021.