Oscars 2021: Former Brighton College student wins Best Director award

A former Brighton College student has won the Best Director award at the Oscars.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 8:46 am
Brighton College

Chloe Zhao made history by becoming the first woman of colour – and only the second woman – to win the award.

She also took home the Best Picture award for Nomadland, her third feature film which stars Frances McDormand, who won Best Actress for her role.

Zhao was born in Bejing but was educated at Brighton College between the ages of 14 and 18.

She described her time at the school as ‘very definitive years’, recalling being ‘very emo’ on Brighton beach in an interview with the i newspaper.

Alison Withers, a former teacher at Brighton College, told BBC South East Today: “What I remember most about her was that she loved a challenge, in a good way,”

“She came to a different country, a different culture, was always questioning why we did things, and just was willing to get stuck in.

“She was clearly very bright and picked up English terribly quickly.”

Nomadland tells the story of a woman in her 60s who lives in a van and travels around the American West after losing everything in the recession.

It is loosely based on the 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder.