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Of the 512 Best Picture nominees in Oscar history, only eleven were directed or co-directed by women. Only four women have been nominated for Best Director in 86 years. The first was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976); her film was not nominated for Best Picture. The first three women to have their films nominated for Best Picture - Randa Haines for Children of a Lesser God (1986), Penny Marshall for Awakenings (1990) and Barbra Streisand for The Prince of Tides (1991) - were not nominated for Best Director. The first film directed by a woman to be nominated for Best Picture *and* Best Director was The Piano (1993), directed by Jane Campion. It would take another ten years for a film directed by a woman to be nominated again - Lost In Translation (2003) by Sofia Coppola, who was also the youngest woman to direct a nominated film (she was 32 at the time). The first - and so far only - woman to win the Best Director award is Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009). She is also the only female director to have two films be nominated for Best Picture, the second being Zero Dark Thirty (2012). One woman - Valerie Faris - has co-directed (with Jonathan Dayton) a film to a Best Picture nomination, for Little Miss Sunshine (2006). Lone Scherfig is the first - and so far only -European woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture, for An Education (2009). The only LGBTQ woman to direct a film nominated for Best Picture is Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right (2010). Debra Granik was nominated for her screenplay, but not for her work as director for Best Picture nominee Winter’s Bone (2010). In the 86 years of Oscar history, there have only been two years when multiple films directed by women were nominated for Best Picture: 2009 and 2010.
"I remember days where I’d have classmates breaking down, sobbing, because they just sucked in front of the class, and then in the evening going to see them in a production and being blown away by the magnitude of their talent. That made me more forgiving of myself, and also more daring. Because you fail, and then what? Life goes on. It’s only when you risk failure that you discover things. When you play it safe, you’re not expressing the utmost of your human experience." - Lupita Nyong’o for Backstage Magazine, February 2014