Everything you need to know about Bafta winning film Nomadland

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Nomadland was the big winner at the Bafta film awards, where it secured four prizes.

The road movie is about a woman in her sixties who loses everything in the recession and lives in her van on a journey across the American West.

It scored the top prize of best film at the ceremony, while star Frances McDormand won best actress.

BAFTA Film Awards 2021
Chloe Zhao collecting the best film prize (Bafta)

Filmmaker Chloe Zhao, who was born in China, became only the second woman to win the best director prize, and the first woman of colour.

British cinematographer Joshua James Richards, who is from Cornwall, also collected the best cinematography prize.

The film also stars The Bourne Ultimatum actor David Strathairn, but most of the cast is made up of real-life nomads, who Zhao celebrated in her acceptance speech.

She said: “They shared with us their dreams, their struggles and their deep sense of dignity. Thank you for showing us that aging 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.”

Made for a low budget, it was adapted from Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction bestselling book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, about the rootless community in the US, and many of the nomads who appear in the book also feature in the film.

McDormand plays Fern, a widow who loses her job and embarks on a journey across the country, adamant she is “not homeless, just houseless”.

She makes ends meet working in an Amazon warehouse, as well as other zero-hour contract jobs, and learns basic survival and self-sufficiency skills for the road from other nomads.

The film has been a critical triumph and is nominated for six Oscars.

It already won the best film prize at the Golden Globes, where Zhao won best director.

Nomadland will be released on Star on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland on April 30 and will be in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from May 17.