The Academy has only nominated seven women in the Best Director category in its storied history. Here they are.
Lina Wertmuller, “Seven Beauties” (1976) • The first woman ever nominated in the category was this Italian director for a drama about an Italian solider who deserted the army during WWII and is sent a German prison camp. She lost to John G. Avildsen for “Rocky.”
Jane Campion, “The Piano” (1993) • The Australian director won an Oscar for her original screenplay for the period drama but lost the directing prize to Steven Spielberg for “Schindler’s List.”
Sofia Coppola, “Lost in Translation” (2003) • The daughter of Oscar-winning “The Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola picked up her first nomination for the quiet Japan-set character study, but lost to Peter Jackson for “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker” (2009) • Bigelow not only scored a nomination, but managed to defeat her ex-husband James Cameron, whose “Avatar” scored Best Picture.
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird” (2017) • The indie actress wrote and directed this feature, her first as solo director, based on her upbringing in Pasadena, Calif. But Guillermo del Toro took the prize for “The Shape of Water.”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (2020) • The Chinese-born actress earned a nomination for her third feature film, which she also wrote. She became the first Asian woman to win the directing prize.
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (2020) • The London-born actress turned writer-director scored a nomination for her debut feature, starring Carey Mulligan. She lost to Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland.”
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” (2021) • Campion became the first woman to earn a second directing nomination for her work on this Western that nabbed 12 nominations in all.