Asian women pioneering the film industry
The recent victories of two film industry figures at the Oscars raise hopes for continued recognition of minority film talent in the future.
At the 93rd Academy Awards, “Nomadland” Director Chloe Zhao became the first Chinese woman and woman of color to receive the award for best director. Youn Yuh-jung, for her role as a fiery grandmother in âMinari,â became the first Korean woman to win the award for Best Supporting Actress.
Zhao spoke to Variety Magazine in an interview about her historic Golden Globe win where she also won the Best Director award, and she said that “sometimes a premiere seems a long time coming.”
âYou feel like it’s about time,â she said. âI’m sure there are many more ahead of me who deserve the same recognition. I love what I do, I really love it, and if that means more people like me can live their dream and do what I do, I’m happy.
According to the Washington Post, social media have criticized the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recent years for not diversifying its selection of nominees. After all 20 actor nominations went to white actors in 2015 and 2016, #OscarsSoWhite began to dominate social media sites. Since then, the Academy has strived to recognize a more diverse range of talent by changing its inclusion standards for the best image category.
The 2021 Oscars premiered on April 25, and Zhao and Yuh-jung’s awards continued to spark discussion during the United States of America and the Pacific Islands Month.
Ryan Kerr, film analysis professor and PhD student in English at UF, explained how women of color have always faced barriers to public success and had to fight for their voices to be heard.
âUnfortunately, to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the masses, minority directors such as Chloe Zhao need to gain the approval of the Academy and the film audiences whose tastes are largely ethnocentric,â he said.
âA film as introspective and timely as ‘Nomadland’ which wins such Oscar success is surprising and a welcome change from very problematic films like Green book, and at the same time, it exposes racial and gender disparities within film production as a whole.
Chinese-American Nicole Kindel is an exploratory student at the University of Florida, and she said Yuh-jung and Zhao’s Oscar victories are not concrete markers of real change in terms of racial equality and gender equality. kind.
âWhile I think it’s important for Asian women to receive recognition for their talent, I think big names, such as the Oscars, praise minorities as a shallow way to recognize them,â the said. 18 year old young woman. “It is becoming more compulsory than genuine, and I think little progress is being made in terms of highlighting the film work of Asian women.”
According to NBC News, only 3.4% of the top grossing films had a lead over Asian Americans or the Pacific Islands in the past 13 years. About 67% of the films were below the AAPI community proportional representation, and 40% did not include a single member of the community.
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Kerr, while hopeful, said there are still a lot of changes to be made in the film industry and it won’t be an easy trip.
“The future of the representation of Asian women in cinema looks bright, but we must keep in mind that these achievements of Youn and Zhao show how widespread and global inequality and under-representation is,” he said. he declared. “Minorities will continue to grapple with the norms and practices of the white male dominated film industry.”
Contact Bryce at [email protected] Follow @brycebrownn on Twitter.
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