In its continued effort to diversify the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has invited 819 film personalities worldwide to join it as voting members. The list includes actors Hrithik Roshan and Alia Bhatt, writer Sabrina Dhawan and casting directors Nandini Shrikent and Tess Joseph.
The other Indians invited this year are documentarians Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya, costume designer Neeta Lulla, Qube Cinema Technologies co-founder V Sethil Kumar, VFX supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal, and composer Nainita Desai, according to an announcement by AMPAS.
The full list of invitees is here.
In the last few years, the Academy has invited quite a few Indians to be its members, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Saumitra Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Madhabi Mukherjee Tabu, Aditya Chopra, Guneet Monga, Usha Khanna, Sneha Khanwalkar, Debajit Changmai and Amrit Pritam Dutta.
The Academy membership would rise to 9,412 if all 819 accept the invitations. Out of the 819, 36 per cent are from under-represented ethnic/racial communities and 45 per cent are women, and the international representation is 49 per cent from 68 countries.
Incidentally, for the first time, the Academy has invited artiste’s representatives or agents to be full voting members as against the earlier associate membership without voting privilege. They will be accommodated in the “Members-at-Large” category which includes those who are not from a specific filmmaking branch which are represented in 16 categories.
The invitations, down from 842 in 2019 and a record 928 in 2018, includes names like Awkwafina, Matthew Cherry, Cynthia Erivo, Alma Har’el, Zendaya , Jeremy Clapin, Mati Diop, Ladj Ly and Lulu Wang.
The Academy aggressively started inviting film persons from across the world to be its members from 2016 after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun, who acted in this year’s Oscar-favourite South Korean movie “Parasite”, have also been invited to join the Academy.
AMPAS president David Rubin, announcing the invitations, said in a statement, “The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now.”
“We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one. We are committed to staying the course,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said.