Best Director Oscar Nominated with honor for their first features

Getting the first feature off the ground is an amazing achievement in itself, but Oscar nomination is an entirely different act.

Emerald Fennell

Emerald Fennell directs “Promising Young Woman”

Merie Weismiller Wallace / © Focus Features / Collection courtesy of Everett

Emerald Fennell has turned into a directing sensation thanks to a star turn making “Promising Young Woman,” which also happens to be her first feature. Meanwhile, she has also been nominated for Best Picture as a producer on the film Carey Mulligan, and Best Original Play, for her horror story of a woman seeking revenge for her friend’s sexual assault . Fennell will also be named in the Best Director category opposite Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland,” making this the first time in Oscar history that two women are vying for the award.

Getting the first feature off the ground is a remarkable achievement in itself, but taking it all the way to an Oscar nomination is another act entirely. Below, take a look at 12 directors who have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for their debut films – many of whom went on to win, or have been re-nominated.

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