The Lady Bird filmmaker earned a Best Director nod, making her just the fifth woman to be nominated in the category in the Academy Awards' 90-year history.
The previous female filmmakers who earned the same recognition were Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1975), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993), Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003) and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008). The latter won for both Best Picture and Best Director, making Bigelow the only female to ever win for either category.
Last year, Gerwig spoke to Exclaim! about the importance of bringing female-driven stories to life onscreen and empowering women to create the films that tell those stories.
"I don't think it's changed yet, but it's not because there aren't people who are willing to do the changing," she said. "Hire them. Make their movies. Put them in positions of power."
She added, "Sometimes people talk about female filmmakers as if it's an act of charity. It's not charity, it's money. There's an audience that will spend money to go see these stories. It's not something that's out of an altruistic act. I think movie studios should do it because of their bottom line."
This year's Oscar nominations also broke ground in Best Cinematography, making Rachel Morrison the first female cinematographer to ever be included in the category for her work on Mudbound.
Below, see some of the reactions to the history-making nominations from Twitter.
Revisit the complete list of 2018 Oscar nominees here.
90 years and now we we have one full hand of females nominated for best director.— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) January 23, 2018
Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano),
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker).
Greta Gerwig - @LadyBirdMovie #OscarNoms
Still feeling the impact of the Greta Gerwig nomination for a movie about a teen girl. When Bigelow was nominated and won it was a war movie. This is a movie about a girl being seen for who she is. That matters. Excited we will be screening @LadyBirdMovie at @Athenafilmfest.— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) January 23, 2018
The beautiful mutual support between greta gerwig and saoirse ronan here is why we need to elevate great female directors pic.twitter.com/IifItnvZuP— Alexandra Pollard (@alexjpollard) January 14, 2018
that's "Oscar Nominated Director Greta Gerwig" to you pic.twitter.com/sT35TOMsgd— hattie (@hattiesoykan) January 23, 2018
Even as I'm happy for Greta Gerwig becoming the 5th woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars I am also painfully aware that no woman of colour has ever been nominated in that category.— Women Film Directors (@women_direct) January 23, 2018
And there was a really talented and deserving one who was overlooked this year.
I LOVE ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED DIRECTORS pic.twitter.com/KcHv54kTGG— best director greta fucking gerwig (@fiImkid) January 23, 2018
How is this not a headline from 1972? https://t.co/ixYsU0kP3g— Jessica Knoll (@JessMKnoll) January 23, 2018
so inspired by greta gerwig's oscar nominations for best director and best original screenplay that i am going to work on my script.— Chandler Levack (@clevack) January 23, 2018
Noah Baumbach better be a good gay ally and record Greta Gerwig's reaction to the finding out she's been nominated for two Oscars— Aaron Michael (@subsahaaron) January 23, 2018