With an intention to diversify its membership, the Academy has made an effort and therefore has invited a record 774 invitations to new members. And you can now expect a lot more Indian faces at the Oscars in 2018. Indian cinema’s top drawer actors, directors and writers are among the global celebrities have been invited to join ‘the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’, which organises the annual Oscar awards. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Indians on the list of 744 new members is heavy on Bollywood, with Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai making the list of actors. Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghose have been invited among the directors, while Sooni Taraporevala and Buddhadeb Dasgupta have been added to the list of writers.
Costume designer Arjun Bhasin has made the cut too. Among documentary filmmakers, Anand Patwardhan has been invited to be a member. Amrit Pritam Dutta, the sound designer of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘PK’ and ‘Kaabil’, has also been invited. According to a report by a leading Hollywood daily, Oscar’s body which represents talent from 57 countries, has invited 39 percent female and 30 percent people of color this time. But hey wait, there is something which is missing. Bollywood’s ‘King Khan’ Shah Rukh Khan is a major miss from the list and we wonder why?
“We’re proud to invite our newest class to the Academy. The entire motion picture community is what we make of it,” Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President, said in a statement. “It’s up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us.”
Indian-origin visual effects director Mohit Kallianpur, behind animated films like “Frozen” and “Tangled”, is also on the list. The list of actors also includes Israeli actress and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot, comedian Amy Poehler, “Mr. Robot” actor Rami Malek, “Rogue One” actor Riz Ahmed, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The directors on the list are Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele, Kim Ki-Duk, Theodore Melfi, David Ayer, Emmanuelle Bercot, Fatih Akin, Derek Cianfrance, Patricia Cardoso, Garth Davis, Lav Diaz, Tom Ford, Anna Hui, Takashi Miike, and Guy Ritchie, among others.Meanwhile, veteran show biz legend Betty White, who, at 95, is the oldest of the new invitees. The youngest invitee is Elle Fanning, at the age of 19.