The Academy Awards have come under fire for its lack of representation of women in the Best Director category. The nominees for the 95th Oscars, announced on January 24, are Martin McDonagh, Steven Spielberg, The Daniels, Todd Field, and Ruben Östlund, all men. This marks the first time in three years that no women have been nominated in this category.
The lack of female representation has been met with disappointment and criticism, especially considering the progress that has been made in recent years. In 2021, Chloé Zhao became the first woman of color to win a Best Director Oscar for her film “Nomadland,” and the following year, Jane Campion won for “The Power of the Dog.” The only other woman to have won in this category is Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
According to Oscar prognostication sites, several women directors were believed to be in the running for a nomination, including Sarah Polley for “Women Talking” and Gina Prince-Bythewood for “The Woman King.” The lack of recognition for these and other female filmmakers is seen as a setback in the industry.
The organization Women in Film has released a statement condemning the Academy’s decision. “An Academy Award is more than a gold statue, it’s a career accelerator that can lead to continued work and increased compensation,” the statement reads. “That’s why WIF will continue to advocate for the work of talented women directors like Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking,” Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King,” Maria Schrader’s “She Said,” Chinonye Chukwu’s “Till,” and Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun,” to be included.”