Chloé Zhao becomes the first woman of colour and second woman ever to win a Best Director Oscar

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  • The Oscars is one of the most prestigious award ceremonies there is, taking place each year in April and celebrating the previous year in film.

    The 93rd Academy Awards took place this weekend in a star-studded scaled-back LA ceremony, seeing celebrities come from far and wide to be there.

    Drawing award season to a close, it pulled out all the stops, with political statements, awkward speeches, unique dress codes and iconic red carpet moments (gold crocs anyone?).

    It made the most news however for its groundbreaking wins, with multiple recipients making history as they received their gongs.

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    One of the most notable of course was Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao who picked up not one but two Oscars last night.

    Zhao’s film Nomadland was the night’s big winner, seeing the filmmaker win for Best Picture and star Frances McDormand awarded Best Actress, but it was the Best Director gong that made the most news.

    Chloé Zhao became the first woman of colour to win Best Director at the Oscars, not to mention the second woman ever to receive the accolade, after just Katheryn Bigelow, who won for Hurtlocker in 2010.

    This moment was not lost on Chloé who took to the stage to make her Best Director acceptance speech.

    ‘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,’ she announced. ‘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 them together and try to finish each other’s sentences.

    ‘There’s one that I remember so dearly, it’s called the Three Character Classics. The first phrase goes… “People at birth are inherently good.” Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid, and I still truly believe them today.’

    She continued: ‘Even though sometimes it might seem like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world.

    ‘So this is for anyone who had the faith, and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult is to do that.

    ‘And this is for you. You inspire me to keep going.’

    Huge congratulations to Chloé and all of the nominees.

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