Chloé Zhao is the first Asian woman and the second woman to win the award in 93 years with the film Nomadland.
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Her win comes as anti-Asian hate crimes are on the rise in cities across the United States. During the ceremony, many encouraged the audience to stand up against anti-Asian violence and rhetoric.
According to reports to ABC, Chloé Zhao said he not only hopes his win will be an inspiration to all filmmakers of Asian descent but also that the film will help unite people.
“We have to tell the stories that we feel connected to. We shouldn’t feel like there’s [only] certain types of story we have to tell. But [film is] a way for us to connect with other people. That’s why I love filmmaking, you know, and hopefully a lot of the stories, brilliant stories we saw tonight, like Tyler Perry said, that was a beautiful speech, you know, ‘let’s get together and let’s stop hate.’ Hate for anybody.”
His next big-screen project is Marvel Studios’ “The Eternals,” now scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 5.