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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.

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