The highly talented directors Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar and the veteran actor Anupam Kher have been invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to become Oscar voters. In a bid to be more inclusive and diversify its membership, the Academy has invited 842 new members from 59 countries which includes huge names like Adele, Lady Gaga and Letitia Wright.
The Academy said half the invitees this year were women and 29% were people of colour. Assuming that every invitee accepts, it’ll bring the total membership number to more than 9000 which will have 32% female members and 16% people of colour.
I am sure that fellow Indians will be happy and proud to know that my daughter Zoya Akhtar who is a well known writer- director has been offered the membership of Oscar academy which is rare honour .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) July 2, 2019
An elated father of Zoya, veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar tweeted expressing his happiness, "I am sure that fellow Indians will be happy and proud to know that my daughter Zoya Akhtar who is a well known writer- director has been offered the membership of Oscar academy which is rare honour."
Anupam Kher has not only had a distinguished career in Indian Cinema but has also been a part of Hollywood movies like The Big Sick, Silver Linings Playbook and quite a few others whereas Zoya Akhtar has been in the new for her recent blockbuster Gully Boy which has done great numbers at the box office worldwide. Anurag Kashyap has been invited in the category of Short Films and Feature Animation.
Apart from these, Ritesh Batra,writer- director of Lunchbox, is also a part of the list. Other members of the Indian film industry who have been invited include Sherry Bharda of Hichki fame and Srinivas Mohan, known for his work on 2.0 and Baahubali: The Beginning- both invited for the category of Visual Effects.
The academy had launched a campaign in 2016 to diversify its membership and be more inclusive. The organisation had invited 928 new members in 2018 and included Indian actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu and Madhuri Dixit.
Image Source: Instagram/zoieakhtar/anupampkher/anuragkashyap10, Twitter/Javedakhtarjadu