Additionally, last year Lee Daniels (pictured right) became the second African-American to be nominated for best director for his work on the film Precious. The only other African-American director was John Singleton who directed Boyz N The Hood in the early 1990s.
So, with a diverse race like we saw last year, it seemed like there were new pool of directors on the scene, with new voices and new stories.
Other diverse directors have occassionally broken into the race, such as Hiroshi Teshigahara (Japanese, Woman in the Dunes, 1965), Akira Kurosawa (Japanese, Ran, 1985), Héctor Babenco (Argentine, Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1985), M. Night Shyamalan (Indian-American, The Sixth Sense, 1999), Ang Lee (Taiwanese American, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, 2000; Brokeback Mountain, 2005), Pedro Almodovar (Spanish, Talk To Her, 2002), Fernando Meirelles (Brazilian, City of God, 2003), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Mexican, Babel, 2006).
2010 does not seem to be shaping up with any clear diversity to the directors race, which in some ways says that this race doesn't offer many unique voices. Instead you have a fairly homogenous group of potential nominees (read: white males).
Here's some potential diverse nominees, although I think you can tell from the list that most if not all of these are long shots. I do not expect a single one of these people to be nominated for a best director Oscar this year:
• Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right
• Sofia Coppola, Somewhere
• Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone
• Rodrigo Garcia, Mother and Child
• Alejandro González Iñárritu, Biutiful
• Tyler Perry, “For Colored Girls”