academy of motion picture arts and sciences (ampas)
1929 (for direction in films released during the 1927/1928 film season)
currently held by
bong joon-ho parasite (oscars.org
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 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. however, these categories were merged for all subsequent ceremonies. 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.
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. 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 91 films that have been awarded best picture, 65 have also been awarded best director.
since its inception, the award has been given to 71 directors or directing teams. john ford has received the most awards in this category with four. william wyler was nominated on twelve occasions, more than any other individual. damien chazelle became the youngest director in history to receive this award, at the age of 32 for his work on la la land. john singleton became the youngest director to be nominated for this award, at age 24 for his work on boyz n the hood. two directing teams have shared the award; robert wise and jerome robbins for west side story in 1961 and joel and ethan coen for no country for old men in 2007. the coen brothers are the only siblings to have won the award.kathryn bigelow is the only woman to have won the award, for 2009's the hurt locker. as of the 2020 ceremony, bong joon-ho is the most recent winner in this category for his work on parasite.
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. 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 91 films that have been awarded Best Picture, 65 have also been awarded Best Director.