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From critically acclaimed Hollywood hits to scrappy passion projects that take on a life of their own, 2021’s roster of directors on Adweek’s Creative 100 encapsulates today’s vast range of inclusive, innovative storytelling.
Hollywood breakthrough: The Beijing-born writer-director racked up scores of industry awards for Nomadland, with the crowning glory being a history-making twofer on Oscar night: Zhao was named best director—the first woman of color and the second woman ever in the awards’ 93-year run—and the film, which she produced, won best picture.