Two Asian directors have the potential to get an Oscar nod this year, a historical first for the category.
Observers are betting on “Minari” director Lee Isaac Chung and “Nomadland” filmmaker Chloé Zhao to be nominated for the Academy Awards’ Best Director.
Gold Derby’s critics recently listed their picks for the five directors who will be most likely nominated for an Oscar. The list includes Chung and Zhao, with the latter as its top choice for the nomination.
Variety’s own top five list for Best Director also has Zhao as its first choice while placing Chung at third. Academy Awards nominations are scheduled to be announced on Feb. 13.
Chung, who also produced and wrote the screenplay for “Minari,” has earned multiple recognitions from different international film festivals in the past. “Munyurangabo,” his directorial debut, premiered to critical acclaim at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival (Official Selection: Un Certain Regard) and won the Grand Prize at the 2007 AFI Fest.
The Korean American filmmaker is set to write and direct the live-action adaptation of the hit Japanese anime film “Your Name (Kimi no Na wa), replacing Marc Webb, as NextShark earlier reported.
Zhao, a Chinese director, screenwriter and producer, immediately captured critics’ attention with her first two films “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” (2015) and “The Rider” (2017).
Zhao’s “Nomadland” has been applauded by critics as one of the best films of 2020, playing and earning recognition in film festivals around the world, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.
The film won the coveted Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival, making Zhao the first woman in a decade to win the festival’s top prize.
She recently helmed the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film “Eternals,” which is slated for release in November 2021.