Academy Award for Best Director

The Academy Award for Best Director (officially known as the Academy Award of Merit for Directing) is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of a film director who has exhibited outstanding directing while working in the film industry. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Director winner.

Academy Award for Best Director
The 2022 recipient: Jane Campion
Awarded forExcellence in Cinematic Direction Achievement
CountryUnited States
Presented byAcademy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
First awarded1929 (for direction in films released during the 1927/1928 film season)
Most recent winnerJane Campion
The Power of the Dog (2021)

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with the award being split into "Dramatic" and "Comedy" categories; Frank Borzage and Lewis Milestone won for 7th Heaven and Two Arabian Knights, respectively.[1] However, these categories were merged for all subsequent ceremonies.[2] Nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the directors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy.[3][4][5]

For the first eleven years of the Academy Awards, directors were allowed to be nominated for multiple films in the same year. However, after the nomination of Michael Curtiz for two films, Angels with Dirty Faces and Four Daughters, at the 11th Academy Awards, the rules were revised so that an individual could only be nominated for one film at each ceremony.[6] That rule has since been amended, although the only director who has received multiple nominations in the same year was Steven Soderbergh for Erin Brockovich and Traffic in 2000, winning the award for the latter. The Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture have been very closely linked throughout their history. Of the 88 films that won Best Picture and were also nominated for Best Director, 67 won the award.[7][8]

Since its inception, the award has been given to 74 directors or directing teams. As of the 2021 ceremony, New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion is the most recent winner in this category for her work on The Power of the Dog and the third woman to win it.

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