Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan and costume designer Neeta Lulla are among the 819 artistes and executives who have received invitations to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Bhatt’s last movie, Zoya Akhtar-directed “Gully Boy” was India’s official entry for best international feature category at the 2019 Oscars. However, the film had failed to make it to the final five.
Other prominent Indian names to receive invitations are casting director Nandini Shrikent, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal.
In a statement, the Academy said the new invitees include 36 per cent of people of colour and 45 per cent women. Artistes from 68 countries have been invited as members.
Those who accept the invitation will have voting rights at the 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021.
“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,” Academy President David Rubin said.
The Academy has been actively working to introduce more diversity in its voting to avoid a controversy like 2016 when the Oscars were dubbed “white” for failing to recognise talents of colour.
The 2020 batch boasts of major Hollywood names like Cynthia Erivo, John David Washington, Constance Wu, Zazie Beetz, Florence Pugh, Zendaya, Awkwafina, Yalitza Aparicio, Mackenzie Davis, Ana de Armas, Adele Haenel, Thomasin McKenzie, Olivia Wilde and others.
The stars of multiple Oscar-winning South Korean movie “Parasite” — Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam and Lee Jung-Eun — are among the invitees.
Directors Lulu Wang, Ari Aster, Terence Davies, Matthew Vaughn, Robert Eggers, Matt Reeves, Alma Har’el are on the list as well.
The Academy has announced a new five-year plan that includes implementing inclusion standards for nominees.
“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.
“We look forward to continuing to foster an Academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new Museum, and in our awards,” Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said.
In 2019, the organisation had invited 842 new members which included Indian names such as filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and veteran actor Anupam Kher.