lone-scherfig

This morning director Ava DuVernay joins the growing list of women whose films received Oscar nominations for Best Picture without receiving a nomination for Best Director themselves.

The list of women who have directed Best Picture nominees/winners:

  • Randa Haines, Children of a Lesser God, 1986
  • Barbra Streisand, The Prince of Tides, 1991
  • Valerie Faris, Little Miss Sunshine, 2007 (her co-director Jonathan Dayton received a nomination) correction: neither Faris nor her co-director were nominated that year. 
  • Loveleen Tandan, Slumdog Millionaire, 2008  (her co-director Danny Boyle won the Oscar for Best Director that year)  
  • Lone Scherfig, An Education, 2009
  • Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right, 2010
  • Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone, 2010
  • Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, 2013
  • Ava DuVernay, Selma, 2015

Additionally Kátia Lund, co-director of City of God, did not receive a nomination for her work on the film despite the fact that her co-director  Fernando Meirelles did.

Only 4 women have ever been nominated for best director and only 1, Kathryn Bigelow, has won. 

4

Of the 512 Best Picture nominees in Oscar history, only eleven were directed or co-directed by women. Only four women have been nominated for Best Director in 86 years. The first was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976); her film was not nominated for Best Picture. The first three women to have their films nominated for Best Picture - Randa Haines for Children of a Lesser God (1986), Penny Marshall for Awakenings (1990) and Barbra Streisand for The Prince of Tides (1991) - were not nominated for Best Director. The first film directed by a woman to be nominated for Best Picture *and* Best Director was The Piano (1993), directed by Jane Campion. It would take another ten years for a film directed by a woman to be nominated again - Lost In Translation (2003) by Sofia Coppola, who was also the youngest woman to direct a nominated film (she was 32 at the time). The first - and so far only - woman to win the Best Director award is Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009). She is also the only female director to have two films be nominated for Best Picture, the second being Zero Dark Thirty (2012).  One woman - Valerie Faris - has co-directed (with Jonathan Dayton) a film to a Best Picture nomination, for Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Lone Scherfig is the first - and so far only - European woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture, for An Education (2009). The only LGBTQ woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture is Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right (2010). Debra Granik was nominated for her screenplay, but not for her work as director for Best Picture nominee Winter’s Bone (2010). In the 86 years of Oscar history, there have only been two years when multiple films directed by women were nominated for Best Picture: 2009 and 2010.

8

Studying is hard and boring. Teaching is hard and boring. So, what you’re telling me is to be bored, and then bored, and finally bored again, but this time for the rest of my life? This whole stupid country is bored! There’s no life in it, or color, or fun!  So my choice is to do something hard and boring, or to marry my Jew, and go to Paris and Rome and listen to jazz, and read, and eat good food in nice restaurants, and have fun!