Twenty Indian film personalities have been invited as members by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aditya Chopra, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Naseeruddin Shah.
The list, which was released on Monday, represents a further push by the organisation that hands out the Oscars every year to ensure diversity and representation by filmmakers from all corners of the globe.
The actors on the list are Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Ali Fazal, Anil Kapoor and Tabu.
Two Indian producers have been added to the honour roll: Aditya Chopra, director, producer and founder of Yash Raj Films, and Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox, Haraamkhor). No Indian feature or documentary director or writer has been invited just yet.
Anil Mehta, the cinematographer of Beyond the Clouds and Highway, has also been invited, as has been costume designers Dolly Ahluwalia and Manish Malhotra. Two sound designers have been extended invitations: Debajit Changmai (Raazi, Court, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) and Biswadeep Chatterjee (3 Idiots, Madras Cafe).
Production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray (Haider, Padmaavat, Raazi) are also on the list. Ballu Saluja (Dangal, Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar) is the lone Indian editor to have been invited. Among the music composers are industry veteran Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar (Gangs of Wasseypur, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy).
Membership to the academy is by invitation only. Oscar nominees are eligible, as are candidates proposed by two current Academy members from the same field as the candidate. In 2017, the Indians invited to be members included Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai, Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghose and Sooni Taraporevala.
“As the Academy has sought to diversify its ranks, it invited in 683 new members in 2016 and 322 in 2015 in a concerted effort to include more women, people of color and filmmakers from around the world,” The Hollywood Reporter said. “Forty-nine percent of the class of 2018 are female, and, should all accept membership, that will bring overall percentage of women in the Academy to 31 percent. Thirty-eight percent of the new members are people of color, bringing their overall percentage in the Academy to 16 percent.”
The names from other countries include “Daniel Kaluuya, Mindy Kaling, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani, Blake Lively, Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, Randall Park, Daisy Ridley, Timothee Chalamet, Hong Chau, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Blake Lively, Regina Hall, Rashida Jones, Lily James, Lily Collins, Chloe Grace Moretz, Olivia Munn, Kal Penn, Pedro Pascal, Amber Tamblyn, Damon Wayans, Gina Rodriguez, Sarah Silverman, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Evan Rachel Wood”, Variety noted. “Directors invited to join the Academy include Angela Robinson (‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’), Justin Simien (‘Dear White People’), and Sean Baker (‘The Florida Project’). International filmmakers include Luca Guadignino, Chloe Zhao, Nadine Labaki, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Ziad Doueiri.”
The youngest invitee is 14-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), while composer Sofia Gubaidulina (The Killing of the Sacred Deer, Mary Queen of Scotts), is the oldest at 86.