It was a proud moment for Indian Film Industry as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Oscars overseeing body, has recently invited twenty Indian film personalities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor, Ali Fazal, Aditya Chopra, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Naseeruddin Shah to join the organisation.
The Academy has made the list available on their official website in order to invite record 928 new members from 59 countries all over the world. The new members will increase the diversity in a major way as 49% of its invitees are female and 38% are people of colour, the overseeing body said in a statement.
Going by the list, Shah Rukh has been identified for his work in Chennai Express and Devdas while Madhuri Dixit's best-recognised films, as mentioned by the Academy, are her latest Marathi film Bucket List and Devdas. Slumdog Millionaire and Taal are the films, which the Academy mentioned with Anil Kapoor's name. Ali Fazal has been featured in the list for his celebrated comedy-drama Victoria and Abdul.
Others film fraternities in the list include Cinematographer Anil Mehta, Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray. While Mehta is best known for his work in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar both Chakraborty and Ray have worked in Shahid Kapoor starrer Haider.
Talking about the musicians’ section, Dangal editor Ballu Saluja, musicians Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar of Gangs of Wasseypur are invited to join the organisation. Oscar-winner A R Rahman, actor Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan are already among the prestigious list of Academy members.
Invitees always range from relative newcomers to industry veterans. Some of the youngest prospective members include 22-year-old Call Me By Your Name actor Timothee Chalamet and Beasts of the Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis who, at 14, is the youngest invitee this year. Both were Oscar-nominated for their performances.
On the other end of the age spectrum is 84-year-old Gosford Park actress Eileen Atkins. Other highly-recognisable invitees include Dave Chappelle, Jada Pinkett Smith, Amy Schumer, Christine Baranski, Sarah Silverman and Kyra Sedgwick.
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 Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in October last year further shaped the narrative in Hollywood with women coming forward and demanding better representation through #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
The Academy seems to have taken these changes into consideration by diversifying its membership.
(With inputs from PTI)