A Hopeful Awards Show Preview
  • Friday, Apr. 2, 2021
Nisha Ganatra

‘Tis the season for awards show previews. This issue contains a TV Awards Season feature on four DGA Award and two ASC Award nominees who could figure in the Emmy conversation. And our Road To Oscar Series continues with insights into nominees, their work and collaborators.

But transcending any preview is the fervent wish that some of the early awards show returns are a preview of more inclusion to come. Our Historic DGA/Oscar Nominees coverage in this issue will hopefully be a harbinger of an industry where more diverse voices are welcomed and celebrated.

Last month Chloe Zhao received four Oscar nominations for Nomadland--Best Picture as a producer, Best Director, Editor and for Adapted Screenplay. That’s an all-time record high for a woman. Zhao, who is also the first woman of color to be nominated for Best Director, is joined by Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell in the category, making it the first time two women have been nominated for that marquee honor. Fennell scored three Academy Award nominations for Promising Young Woman--the others as a producer for Best Motion Picture, and for Best Original Screenplay.

Akin to the Oscars, the DGA Awards this year saw two women--Zhao and Fennell--nominated for the Guild’s top honor for the firrst time in the same year. Zhao is the first woman of color to become a feature nominee. 

Additionally, two women earned DGA Award nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director--Regina King for One Night in Miami...and Radha Blank for The Forty-Year-Old Version

Another woman filmmaker is also in contention to make history. Garrett Bradley--on the strength of Time--could become the first Black woman to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. 

Furthermore, Nisha Ganatra of Chelsea Pictures and Melina Matsoukas of PRETTYBIRD, two women of color, are among the nominees for the DGA Award recognizing Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for 2020. This marks the first time that two solo female directors broke through with nominations in the spotmaking category in the same year.

A preview of things to come? Let’s hope so as our hope--which springs eternal--finally springs into action.

Robert Goldrich is a SHOOTonline editor.

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