Dark eyes, shy and delicate smile: that’s who Chloe Zhao is, the Asian director who won a Golden Globe with her latest film. Below all about life and a professional career.
Born in 1982, Chloe Zhao, a pseudonym of Ting Zhao, was born in Beijing on March 31st to a steel mill manager father and a nurse mother. Although still very small, it immediately showed interest in the world of culture and artistic arts. At 15 he decides to go to study in London and then complete his high school studies in Los Angeles. But it is in Massachusetts who graduates from Mount Holyoke University of Liberal Arts.
After some work in the world of advertising, he enrolled at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York.
From there, his real-life as an artist began. Between 2008 and 2011 he directs and also deals with the editing and production of some short films. But it was only in 2015 that he made his debut as a director with the feature film Songs My Brothers Taught Me. To make her get more success, however, thinks the film The rider – A cowboy’s dream of 2017, which is presented at the Quinzaine of the 70th Cannes Film Festival and gets four nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards.
In this film, as in the previous one, its main characteristic is to include non-professional actors within the cinematographic context. The aim is to make his independent films closer to reality than they already are.
If with the previous film The Rider had opened several doors and different acquaintances, now with Nomadland she conquers everyone’s heart. He even has the option of choosing a real actress, namely Frances McDormand. The film tells the story of this woman who, having lost her husband, decides to become a nomad and travel around the United States in a van. The story, the characters, the settings, and above all the message that the Asian director transmits impress the public and beyond, so much so that Chloe Zhao wins the Golden Lion at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. But not only that: it also won the Golden Globe 2021 for Best Drama and Best Director.
Winning the 2021 Golden Globe, undoubtedly, marked a new chapter for Chloe Zhao in her professional life and her career as a director. But beyond the talent and beauty of this film, how it was made, and the depth behind a simple, dramatic, and smooth narrative, this victory is historic for another reason as well. In fact, she is the first Asian director to win such an important award and above all the second woman, after more than thirty years, after Barbara Streisand.
That cinema is opening up to reward women when they really deserve it? Maybe yes and maybe no: the road, unfortunately, is still long but it is always a good start from where to start and where to dream!