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2021 Oscar nominations showcase a new wave of diversity in the film industry

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Featured image: “Oscar” by lincolnblues (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The announcement of the 2021 Oscar nominations mark a historic moment in film industry history.

For the first time, two female directors, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell, are up for the best director award. Kathryn Bigelow is the only female director to have won this award with Hurtlocker in 2010. There have only been 5 female directors nominated for best director since the beginning of the Oscars in 1927. Currently female directors only make up 10.7% of directors in the industry. The Guardian reported that 17% of the top grossing films in 2020 where directed by woman, the highest ever recorded.

It is also the most diverse year on record with nine of the twenty acting nominees being POC. The Oscars has previously been heavily criticized for its lack of representation and white Eurocentric focus. Directors such as Spike Lee did not attend the award show in 2016 and called for a boycott of the award ceremony, following the predominantly white acting nominations.

Hopefully, this year marks a change and a more inclusive film industry.

Another standout of this year is the number of British nominees, including Olivia Coleman, who won an oscar in 2019 for The Favourite, she is nominated again this year for her role in The Father. Daniel Kaluuya is also among the British nominees for his standout performance as Fred Hamilton in Judas and the Black Messiah. Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim actor of Pakistani descent to be nominated for the award.

The Oscars will take place as usual this year. However, social distance regulations will be in place and it will be held on the 26th of April as opposed to its usual time in February.

The full list of nominations is available here

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Kiah-Azriel Freer

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