Chloé Zhao has made history as the first female recipient of the Palm Springs International Film Awards' Director of the Year prize.

The 'Nomadland' director, 38, follows in the footsteps of the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Steve McQueen in being bestowed with the prestigious honour for the 2020 independent contemporary western drama starring Frances McDormand.

The festival's Chairman, Harold Matzner, said in a statement: "Director and screenwriter Chloé Zhao's 'Nomadland' is a film that captures the triumph of the human spirit.

"'Nomadland' is one of the most accomplished films of the year and we are delighted to honour our first female Director of the Year."

Zhao has already won a number of pre-Oscar accolades for 'Nomadland', including Best Feature and the Audience Award at the 2021 Gotham Film Awards and Best Director at the New York Film Critics Circle awards.

Elsewhere, Carey Mulligan is set to be handed the International Star Award for her turn as Cassie Thomas in Emerald Fennell's black comedy, 'Promising Young Woman'.

While her 'Mank' co-star Gary Oldman will receive the Chairman's Award for his starring role as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in the biographical drama.

Matzner added: “Oldman plays the role to perfection as the film follows the screenwriter’s journey while he is co-writing the script for 'Citizen Kane'."

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no in-person ceremony this year.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival and Film Awards Gala will return in 2022.