Sharmila Tagore, Deepa Mehta invited to be Academy members
Legendary actor Sharmila Tagore, Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto and director Deepa Mehta are among the 683 members invited to join the organisation that gives out the Oscar awards as part of a worldwide diversity push.
The new invitees are 46% female and 41% people of colour, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said, adding the roster boasts 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees. The youngest invitee is 24 and the oldest 91. 283 are identified as international members representing 59 countries.
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 class of new members.
The new list follows scathing criticism about a lack of diversity in the 6000-strong Academy’s ranks and among Oscar winners. All 20 nominees TALIBAN BEHIND ATTACK TERROR STRIKES AGAIN Legendary actor Sharmila Tagore (left) and film-maker Deepa Mehta were invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be part of its new class of members. in the main acting categories media backlash under the at this year’s Oscars hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. were white for the second “This class continues our year running, prompting long-term commitment to calls to boycott the glitzy welcoming extraordinary talent event and an angry social reflective of those working RESURGENT TALIBAN in film today,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement.
“We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible and storied industry.” The record number of invitees also includes rising young stars John Boyega of “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson, Swedish Oscar winner Alicia Vikander and musician Mary J. Blige.