SHARMILA TAGORE, DEEPA MEHTA AMONG OSCAR’S NEW MEMBERS
Veteran actor Sharmila
Tagore (right), Slumdog Millionaire actor Freida Pinto and filmmaker Deepa Mehta (far right) feature among Indian-origin film personalities invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be part of its new class of members.
The Academy invited a record 683 new members — 46% female and 41% persons of colour — as it aims to diversify, following criticism of its largely white and male membership. Apart from Tagore, Pinto and Mehta, British filmmaker of Indian origin Asif Kapadia who bagged the Best Documentary Feature Oscar for Amy, based on the life of late singer Amy Winehouse, also features in this year’s new members.
“We are proud to welcome these new members to the Academy, and know they view this as an opportunity and not just an invitation, a mission and not just a membership,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement.
The new class is by far the largest ever announced by the Academy -- and it features celebrities aged as young as 24 and as old as 91.