The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record number of 928 new members, including twenty personalities from Bollywood and Indian cinema. Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, Naseeruddin Shah, Ali Fazal, Anil Kapoor and Tabu are the Indian actors on the list, while Aditya Chopra and Guneet Monga are the Indian producers invited to the honorary body. Cinematographer Anil Mehta, costume designers Dolly Ahluwalia and Manish Malhotra, sound designers Debajit Changmai and Biswadeep Chatterjee, production designers Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, music composers Usha Khanna and Sneha Khanwalkar and film editor Ballu Saluja have also made it to the list.
As observed by Variety, the expansion of the Academy membership is an outcome of the anti-diversity backlash faced by the Oscars in 2015 and 2016. If all invitees in the list accept the membership, the total strength of the Academy will become 9,226.
Last year, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai, Mrinal Sen and Goutam Ghose and Sooni Taraporevala were invited by the Academy from India, reported Scroll.in.
“It’s interesting that though (past Indian) winners were Indian, it was for their work in international films — largely about India, but not made by India. For a global community like India to be represented on a larger scale, I think it will have to move beyond a single award for all foreign language films. It is very rare to see foreign language films represented in the other categories,” Priyanka was quoted as saying by TheQuint.com after accepting the invitation.
This year around, the Academy has extended its invitations to personalities from 59 different countries.
The last edition of the Oscars – the 90TH Academy Awards – was held on March 4, 2018.