Women Directors Break Record in Best Picture Oscars Category

Women filmmakers hit a milestone with this year’s 2024 Oscar nominations.

For the first time in history, three of the 10 movies nominated for best picture — Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Celine Song’s “Past Lives” — were directed by a female auteur, the most recognized in the Academy Awards’ 96-year history.

The other best picture nominees are: “American Fiction,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Oppehneimer,” “The Holdovers,” “Poor Things,” and “The Zone of Interest.” 

Before this year’s best picture nominees, 591 movies were nominated by the Academy. Only four years have included two films directed by women among the best picture nominees: Lone Scherfig’s “The Hurt Locker” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids Are All Right” and Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone” (2010), Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” and Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” (2020) and Siân Heder’s “CODA” and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” (2021). Bigelow, Zhao and Heder’s films went on to win best picture.

In another milestone, producers and stars Emma Stone (“Poor Things”) and Margot Robbie (“Barbie”) became the second and third women recognized for best picture and acting in the same year. At the 93rd Oscar ceremony, Frances McDormand became the first woman to be nominated for acting and producing in the same year (Barbra Streisand and Oprah Winfrey have received nods in acting and picture but in separate years). McDormand went on to win both of the categories.

Women producers are also among seven of the 10 nominated movies. It’s the second-most to have a female producer among the nominated movies. Those include Stone, Robbie, Emma Thomas (“Oppenheimer”), Marie-Ange Luciani (“Anatomy of a Fall”), Amy Durning and Kristie Macosko Krieger (“Maestro”), Ewa Puszczynska (“The Zone of Interest”) and Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon (“Past Lives”).

The most movies produced by women happened in 2019, delivering eight films with female producers attached, including Kwak Sin-ae, who would become the first woman of color to win best picture for the non-English language movie “Parasite.” All other years had six or fewer.

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