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The 21 Most Overlooked Directors in Oscar History, From Ingmar Bergman to Alexander Payne

It’s not easy to land a Best Director Oscar nomination — even for a white man. Of the hundreds of filmmakers recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in nine decades, just 10 have been African American or women — which is why 2018 nominees Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig are so rare. Not one black Best Director has won since John Singleton became the first nominee with “Boyz in the Hood” in 1991. Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever take home a gold statue, for 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.” The only Asian director asked to accept top honors is Ang Lee, who prevailed for both “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi.”

Many great filmmakers have been nominated for their work outside of directing, including Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Sam Peckinpah, and Rob Reiner, but have never been invited to the Best Director party at all. Still more picked

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