Written by Prakriti Panwar, a grade 11 student
Chloe Zhao recently made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globes in more than 78 years. In addition to being the first Asian woman to be awarded this prestige, she is also the second woman to ever be awarded a Golden Globe, Barbra Streisand being the first woman ever. Chloe was awarded for her film ‘Nomadland’ which was about a woman who travels to the American West, as a ‘modern-day nomad.’
The film also won other prestigious awards such as Venice’s Golden Lion and TIFF people’s choice award. It was also nominated under the categories of ‘best picture’ and ‘best director’ for the Oscars.
Chloe’s nomination category was itself historical as it was the first time that more than one woman was nominated for the category. Alongside Chloe, Regina King and Emerald Fennell were also nominated for their films ‘One Night in Miami’ and ‘Promising Young Woman’
Born in Beijing, China, Chloe studied Political Science and then decided to enroll herself in New York University’s Film Program. She describes this phase of her life as ‘quarter-life crisis’ as after graduating with a degree in political science, she spent several years bartending and doing other odd jobs before deciding to enroll.
Chole’s storytelling has always been about narrating raw, authentic stories about real people and their experiences. In fact, she even spent three years in South Dakota, getting to know people and collecting their stories. However, the funding fell through and when she returned to her apartment in New York, she realised that her apartment had been broken into and her footage was stolen.
Despite the setback, Chloe returned to South Dakota, started afresh and released her first film, ‘Songs My Brother Taught Me’ in 2015. Two years later, she released ‘The Rider’ which was based on a horse trainer and rodeo competitor she met in Dakota.
Since then, Zhao has always aimed at striking a chord with her audiences. In her words, “This is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories, because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together, and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other.”