Joshua James Richards age: How old is director Chloé Zhao’s partner?

Bruno Cooke April 26, 2021
Photo by Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

Joshua James Richards is the longterm boyfriend/partner of Nomadland director Chloé Zhao, who took the Academy Award for Best Director at last night’s Oscars ceremony. How old is Joshua James Richards?

Joshua James Richards age

Acclaimed director of photography Joshua James Richards is 36 years old. His collaborator and partner, Chloé Zhao, is 39.

Both Chloé Zhao and her partner, Joshua James Richards, are successful for their age.

They both received nominations for Academy Awards at last night’s Oscars, for the film Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand.

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THE OSCARS® – The 93rd Oscars will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and international locations via satellite. “The Oscars” will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT and in more than 200 territories worldwide. (ABC via Getty Images) JOSHUA JAMES RICHARDS

Chloé Zhao beats her partner at the Oscars

Richards was up for Best Cinematography, while Zhao was in the running for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing.

In the end, David Fincher’s Mank took Best Cinematography (DoP: Erik Messerschmidt). Zhao won Best Picture and Best Director.

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But Richards is coming into his stride

Regardless of how old he is, he has had a good run of the last 10 years.


His first credit as cinematographer was in 2011 – he has only been Director of Photography on four feature films – and already he has several accolades to his name.

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Photo by Hollywood Critics Association/Getty Images for the Hollywood Critics Association

For Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015), written and directed by his partner Chloé Zhao, Richards received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Similarly, God’s Own Country (2017) saw Richards in the running for a Technical Achievement Award from the London Film Critics’ Circle.

A successful partnership

Both writer/director Chloé Zhao and her boyfriend and collaborator Joshua James Richards have experienced success at a young age. 

At 39 and 36 respectively, they have made a splash on the anglophone movie scene. For her part, Chloé Zhao is only the second woman to take the Best Director title at the Oscars.

Her next directorial output, the upcoming Marvel instalment Eternals, will premiere in November.

Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.