A FILMMAKER who was educated in Sussex has made history at the Bafta awards after her film took home the top prize.

Chloe Zhao, who attended Brighton College, became only the second woman to win the best director prize for her film Nomadland.

Chloe, who was born in China before moving from Beijing to Brighton at the age of 14, was also the first woman of colour to win.

A huge congratulations to Old Brightonian Chloe Zhao. Chloe's remarkable film Nomadland took home four awards at last...

Posted by Brighton College on Monday, 12 April 2021

Accepting the best film prize, Chloe said: "I think I just made my teacher at Brighton College very proud."

In a statement on Facebook, Brighton College said Chloe had made everyone at the school “very proud.”

Nomadland stars Frances McDormand as a woman living in her van as she embarks on a journey across the American West.

The Argus: Chloe Zhao won Best Director at this year's BAFTAsChloe Zhao won Best Director at this year's BAFTAs

The film won three other awards, including cinematography, leading actress for Frances McDormand and best film.

Zhao dedicated the win to “the nomadic community” featured in the movie.

She said: “They shared with us their dreams, their struggles and their deep sense of dignity. Thank you for showing us that ageing is a beautiful part of life, a journey that we should all cherish and celebrate.

“How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better.”

It comes after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win best director with her 2010 film, the Hurt Locker.

Chloe is now the frontrunner for the best director prize at this year’s Oscars, which will take place on Monday, April 26.

The Bafta ceremony, which was delayed by two months, was largely virtual this year, with only the hosts and presenters appearing in person at the Royal Albert Hall.

Hosts Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman opened the ceremony by honouring the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 on Friday and was the first president of Bafta.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is the current president of Bafta, had been due to deliver a speech via video, celebrating the resilience of the film industry over the past year.

He withdrew following the death of his grandfather.