AceShowbiz - Chloe Zhao has become the second female moviemaker in 12 years to win the Best Director gong at the 2021 EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).
Her film "Nomadland", which stars Frances McDormand as a woman who loses everything in the Great Recession and embarks on a nomadic journey through the American West, also beat out Sarah Gavron's "Rocks" to take home Best Film, after both movies were tied at seven nominations apiece ahead of Sunday's (11Apr21) ceremony.
In addition, McDormand was named Best Leading Actress as "Nomadland" was also celebrated for its cinematography.
Zhao became the first female to win the best director title at the event since Kathryn Bigelow who took home the prize in 2009 for war drama "The Hurt Locker". She was one of four female directors nominated at the 2021 awards.
Zhao dedicated her Best Film award to "the nomadic community who welcomed us into their lives," adding, "Thank you for showing us that ageing is a beautiful part of life, a journey that we should all cherish and celebrate. How we treat our elders says a lot about our society and we need to do better."
Supporting honours went to Daniel Kaluuya, for "Judas and the Black Messiah", and 73-year-old "Minari" star Yuh-jung Youn, who expressed her delight that the typically "snobbish" Brits had given her work the seal of approval.
Emerald Fennell was left flustered after her script for "Promising Young Woman" landed the Best Original Screenplay title, but recovered to accept a second award for Outstanding British Film.
Meanwhile, Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller's "The Father" was named Best Adapted Screenplay, and Thomas Vinterberg's "Another Round", starring Mads Mikkelsen, triumphed in the Best Film Not in the English Language category.
The virtual proceedings, hosted by Edith Bowman and Dermot O'Leary from the Royal Albert Hall, began with a tribute to British royal Prince Philip, who passed away on Friday (09Apr21). He was also later remembered in the In Memoriam section alongside Chadwick Boseman, Sean Connery, Christopher Plummer, Ennio George Segal, Irrfan Khan, Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Ben Cross, Sir Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Max Von Sydow, Cicely Tyson, Dave Prowse, Kirk Douglas, Dame Barbara Windsor, Sir Alan Parker, and Dame Olivia De Havilland, among others.
Musical entertainment was provided by British stars Liam Payne and Celeste, who sang her song "Hear My Voice" from "The Trial of the Chicago 7", and Leslie Odom Jr. perform a transatlantic duet from Los Angeles, with Corinne Bailey Rae, who was at the Royal Albert Hall.
The full list of BAFTA winners is as follows: