Female Directors Shut Out of Oscars 2023 After Wins in Consecutive Years

Jane Campion and Chloé Zhao won Best Director at the previous two Academy Awards

Todd Field attends the 2023 New York Film Critics Circle Awards; Martin McDonagh attends the AFI Awards; Steven Spielberg attends "The Fabelmans" UK Premiere
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images; Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage

No women were nominated for the Best Director Academy Award at the upcoming 95th Oscars ceremony, after a female director won the award in each of the previous two years.

On Tuesday, the Academy Awards announced Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans), Todd Field (Tár) and Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness) as its nominees for Best Director.

Female directors shut out of the category whose films were nominated in other categories include Charlotte Wells (Aftersun) and Sarah Polley (Women Talking). Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Woman King, Chinonye Chukwu's Till and Maria Schrader's She Said were also not recognized.

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Women Talking, despite missing out on a Best Director nomination, was nominated for Best Picture.

The lack of female nominees in the Oscars' Best Director category this year comes after Jane Campion won the award in 2022 for The Power of the Dog, which made her the third woman to ever win Best Director.

Chloé Zhao was just the second woman ever to win the award in 2021 when she won for Nomadland, while Kathryn Bigelow made history with her win in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.

THE WOMAN KING - Viola Davis
Sony Pictures

Despite recent wins, only seven women have ever been nominated for directing efforts in the Academy Awards' history. Campion was previously nominated in 1994 for The Piano, while Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) round out a short list of female nominees in the Oscars' history.

The 93rd Academy Awards in 2021 featured the first time two women were nominated for the award in the same year, when Zhao's Nomadland and Fennell's Promising Young Woman were both recognized.

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Academy Award nominees for each award are chosen by those who work in relevant branches of work, though the entire organization has a say in the nominations for Best Picture each year.

The director's branch of the Academy is made up of 75.6% male directors, while the entire body itself is comprised of 66.5% male members out of 10,509, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which cited the Academy's most recent membership numbers.

Women Talking
United Artists

Notable past Oscar snubs for women in the Best Director category include 1987's Children of a Lesser God, which received five nominations — including one for Best Picture — but did not receive a Best Director nomination for filmmaker Randa Haines, according to THR.

The outlet also cited Barbra Streisand's 1992 film The Prince of Tides, for which she was snubbed for Best Director as the movie received seven total nominations, and 2014's Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, as noteworthy instance of female directors not being recognized in the directing category.

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