Chloe Zhao has made history by becoming the first woman of colour - and only the second woman at all - to win the best director award at the Oscars.
Chinese-born, British-educated, US-based Zhao also won best picture for Nomadland, her third feature film.
All three have been quietly compelling portraits of people, often played by non-professional actors, in the margins of society in the American West.
But her next film will be a departure - a Marvel comic blockbuster, Eternals.
With her Oscar triumph, which comes 11 years after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win best director for The Hurt Locker, 39-year-old Zhao has been recognised as one of the most distinctive and talented film-makers to emerge in recent years.
Born in Beijing, her father was a successful steel executive and her step-mother is the well-known Chinese comedy actress Song Dandan.
In her best director acceptance speech on Sunday, Zhao said: "I've been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard. I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid.
"When I was growing up in China, my Dad and I used to play this game. We would memorise classic Chinese poems and texts, and we would recite them together and try to finish each other's sentences."There's one that I remember so dearly, it's called the Three Character Classics. The first phrase goes... 'People at birth are inherently good.' Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid, and I still truly believe them today.
"Even though sometimes it might seem like the opposite is true, I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world.
"So this is for anyone who had the faith, and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult is to do that.
"And this is for you. You inspire me to keep going."
BDST: 1333 HRS, APR 26, 2021