Oscar-Winning Director Chloe Zhao Graduated From College In New England

Newly golden Oscar winner Chloé Zhao, who made history with her wins at the 93rd Academy Awards, attended college in Hampshire County.

Chloé Zhao
Chloé Zhao Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Vegafi

Her film “Nomadland” swept the awards on Sunday, April 25, winning for Best Picture and Best Director. 

Zhao, a 2005 graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, located in South Hadley, is the first woman of color to receive an Academy Award for Best Director, and only the second woman ever to win in that category.

“For the exceptional beauty, intelligence, and artistry of this film, Chloé Zhao certainly deserves the lasting recognition that these Oscars bring," said Mount Holyoke President Sonya Stephens. "Mount Holyoke joins with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in celebrating her extraordinary accomplishments."

Robin Blaetz, chair of the Department of Film Media Theater, taught Zhao in her introductory film class in 2002 when there were few films directed by women, and fewer still by women of color, the college said.

“Film is an incredibly powerful cultural force,” said Blaetz. “Chloé understood that if you want to make a difference in the world, this is how you do it. This is how you talk to the world.”

Zhao is currently directing Marvel’s “Eternals,” slated for release in November 2021.

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