Anupam Kher, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap are among the 842 new members invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to join the Oscars organisation.
In the announcement, the Academy said this year half of the new invitees to the film academy are women. In 10 of the 17 branches including the directing, writing and producing branches more women than men are invited. This year’s class of new members also includes 29% of people of colour.
That’s a notable turnaround for an organization that has sought to diversify its ranks following criticism for all-white acting nominees in 2015 and 2016. Since 2015, the group’s overall female membership has grown from 25% to 32%, the academy said. Overall membership of people of colour has doubled, from 8% to 16%.
To aid in the swift overhaul of the academy, the group last year invited a record 928 members. While smaller, this year’s class still ranks as one of the academy’s largest in its 92-year history.
India features prominently in the list of the new invitees that also includes Sherry Bharda (Hichki, Sui Dhaaga) and Srinivas Mohan (2.0, Baahubali: The Beginning) in the visual effects category, Ritesh Batra (Photograph) in the writers category, Archie Panjabi in actors category and Nisha Ganatra in the Directors category.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap shared the news on Twitter and wrote, #WeAreTheAcademy”.
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) July 1, 2019
New invitees also include Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown, Claire Foy, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland and Adele. Newly invited directors include Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon Chu, The Babadook director Jennifer Kent and the filmmaking duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
If most accept their invites, the film academy will number more than 9,000 members.
Next year’s Academy Awards will be held on February 9, several weeks earlier than usual.
(with inputs from AP)