With the awards circuit winding down, it is almost time for the glitz and glam of the 2024 Oscars. Film’s greatest night will take place on March 10, and we are glad to note that there will be more female representation this year! Women make up one-third of the 2024 Academy Award nominees (an increase from the past three editions of the ceremony). 

According to Janet Yang, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, over 11,000 voters from 93 countries are in charge of deciding who will take home the coveted golden statue. 

Although Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were snubbed in the Best Actress and Best Director categories for their box-office hit Barbie, there are still other notable names included in this year’s lineup.

From Lily Gladstone’s historical nomination to Justine Triets French film getting a whole lot of awards buzz, here are some of the women and non-binary trailblazers to keep an eye on ahead of the Oscars. 

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Lily Gladstone becomes the first Native American to land a Best Actress nom

First-time Academy Award nominee Lily Gladstone is of Siksikaitsitapi and NiMíiPuu heritage, making her spot in the Best Actress race a historical feat. Although Indigenous actresses have been included in this category before, she is the only Native American to ever be nominated.

Known for her breakout role in Martin Scorsese’s  Killers of The Flower Moon, the actress from Blackfeet nation was about to quit her onscreen career before getting a call back to join the film. Gladstone stars as Molly Burkhart, an Osage woman who sees her family and community murdered amid the oil discovery in Oklahoma. 

Gladstone is already making waves this awards season, becoming the first Indigenous person to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and the first Native American and Indigenous person to snatch a SAG Award for Female Actor in a Lead Role in a Motion Picture.

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French filmmaker Justine Triet is in the running for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay

After Anatomy of a Fall won the Palm d’Or at Cannes (the most prized award of the festival), the French film has continued to garner accolades this awards season, allowing Justine Triet to land a spot in the Best Director Oscar race. Triet is the 8th woman to ever run in this predominantly male category. If she wins, she will be the 4th woman to join the list after Kathryn Bigelow, Chloe Zhao, and Jane Campion

The court drama follows a German novelist (played by Oscar-nominated actress Sandra Hüller), who is accused of pushing her husband from a window to his death. The film is nominated in 5 categories, including Best Original Screenplay. Since the director and her husband helmed the script, Triet also has the chance to win an award for this nomination. Considering that she won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Screenplay and a Gotham Award for Best Screenplay, her chances are high.

Two other women were also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, including Celine Song for Past Lives and Samy Burch for May December. Greta Gerwig and her husband Noah Baumbach are nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for Barbie.

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Da’Vine Joy Randolph, America Ferrera and more women of colour lead the Best Supporting Actress category

The Holdovers star, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, has swept the major award ceremonies of this year thus far. She has won a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, a SAG Award, and a BAFTA for her performance in the holiday comedy. Based on the actress’ previous accolades, she is a favourite to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. 

Randolph and Danielle Brooks from The Color Purple are the two Black actresses recognized in this year’s lineup for Best Supporting Actress. In fact, the majority of the nominees in this category are women of colour, which is only the fifth time that this has happened in Oscar history

America Ferrera’s notable monologue in Barbie allowed her to also earn an Oscar nom for a supporting role. She is the first-ever nominee of Honduran descent in any Oscars category, and one of two Latinx actors running in this year’s acting categories. 

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Toronto-based filmmaker Nisha Pahuja lands Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary

After eight years in the making, Nisha Pahujas To Kill A Tiger scored an Oscar nom for Best Documentary Feature. The project follows a father seeking justice after three men sexually assaulted and abducted his 13-year-old daughter in a poor community in India. 

The documentary, which is executive produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mindy Kaling, is an enlightening look at the patriarchal culture in South Asia. In a village that normally resorts to blaming the victim or marrying them off to their perpetrators, a father goes against societal norms to avenge his child. 

Pahuja isn’t the only woman nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category. Kaouther Ben Hania and Maite Alberdi are also included in the lineup for their films Four Daughters and The Eternal Memory.

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Celine Song is one of the three female directors nominated for Best Picture

In addition to Song’s nom for Best Original Screenplay, she is also one of the three female directors whose films are running for Best Picture (along with Gerwig and Triet). Never before have three films directed by women competed in this Oscars category in the same year!

 A sentimental story about two childhood best friends who reconnect as adults, Past Lives is the Korean-Canadian filmmaker’s directorial feature debut, which makes the recognition from the Academy that much sweeter. 

Female producers are credited in seven of the ten films in this year’s lineup, including Margot Robbie and Emma Stone (who is also nominated for Best Actress for her role in Poor Things). 

These milestones in the Best Picture race are a reflection of the new representation and inclusion standards that the Academy introduced to promote diversity among nominees.

It is uplifting to know that the most celebrated awards ceremony in the film industry is pushing for changes that allow for more women and other minorities to have a chance to see their work getting the Oscar treatment.