The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known as the voting body for the Oscars, has invited 819 new members in a bid to incorporate more diverse voices.
Among them are a number of figures from the Indian film fraternity such actors Hrithik Roshan and Alia Bhatt, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain (Gulab Gang) Shirley Abraham (The Cinema Travellers) and Amit Madheshiya (The Cinema Travellers), costume designer Neeta Lulla (Jodhaa Akbar, Devdas), writer Sabrina Dhawan (Kaminey, Monsoon Wedding) and casting directors Nandini Shrikent (Gully Boy) and Tess Joseph (Aladdin, Lion). Visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand (War) and Sandeep Kamal (Panipat), editor Yael Bitton (Machines) and founder of Qube Cinema V. Senthil Kumar are among those who have been invited.
As an independent filmmaker, I know the value of the legitimacy of my voice, of a place at the table.
Honoured to be invited by @TheAcademy to join as a member.
Such blazing talent, our class of 2020. A world of work ahead of us and I'm so ready.https://t.co/IJaEzJJbcv
— Shirley Abraham (@shirley_abraham) July 1, 2020
— Milap (@zmilap) June 30, 2020
They join the ranks of 819 new members which includes actors Awkwafina, Zendaya Coleman, Eva Longoria, and John David Washington as well as filmmakers such as Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, Mati Diop and Lulu Wang.
This announcement is in response to the Academy’s inclusion goals set in 2016 to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020. On this expansion of its member base, the Academy issued a statement saying, “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” adding, “The 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international from 68 countries”.