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The Gotham Awards’ nominees for best film of 2020 were all directed by women

Female directors are taking center stage as 2020’s awards season begins.

The Gotham Awards, which recognizes independent films and is one of a number of awards shows that takes place each year prior to the Oscars, unveiled its 2020 nominees on Thursday, and for the first time ever, all five of the films nominated for Best Feature were directed by women, reports Variety.

The nominees in the top category were Kitty Green’s The Assistant, Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, and Natalie Erika James’ Relic.

Films that pick up nods at the Gotham Awards don’t always go on to receive Oscars love; of the five movies nominated for Best Feature by the Gotham Awards last year, just one, Marriage Story, was ultimately nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Still, in an unusual year that has seen many splashy film releases delayed due to COVID-19, pundits believe there may be room for movies that might ordinarily get overlooked by the Oscars, including Nomadland, to fare well and potentially even win the top prize.

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The Academy has also famously been criticized for repeatedly overlooking women for Best Director at the Oscars, and just five female directors have ever been nominated in that category. At the most recent Oscars, no women were nominated for Best Director. But for the 2021 Oscars, with contenders including Reichardt and Zhao as well as Regina King among others, another all-male category seems unlikely.

The 30th Gotham Awards are scheduled for Jan. 11. Brendan Morrow