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The most coveted prize for filmmakers, the best director honor, highlighted diversity among winners, but left much to be desired in how far Hollywood and the Academy have to go in terms of inclusion during the 2010s. The decade marked the first and only best director win for a woman, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow, but only one other woman (Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird) went on to earn a nomination in the next 10 years. To date, no female filmmakers of color have ever been nominated for best director out of 91 years of the awards.
After Ang Lee became the first non-white winner in the category in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, he won a second best director Oscar in 2013 for Life of Pi. He was the only nominee of Asian descent throughout the decade. There has yet to be a black filmmaker to win the category, but the decade recognized five black directors including Lee Daniels (Precious), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) as nominees. McQueen went on to win an Oscar for best picture and Jenkins, Peele and Lee all won Oscars for their screenplays. John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood) is the only previously nominated black filmmaker.
Five of the 10 best director wins of the 2010s went to Mexican directors, with two wins for Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Roma), two wins for Alejandro Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant) and one win for Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Previously nominated Latino filmmakers include Héctor Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman) and Fernando Meirelles (City of God), along with Iñárritu (Babel).
Damien Chazelle (La La Land) became the youngest recipient of the best director award while British director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and French director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) rounded out the best director Oscars through the 2010s.
See all 10 best director Oscar winners from the past decade below.
[Please note: Years reference the year the award was presented].
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