After all the lack of diversity at the Oscars this year — not any actors of color and with no nomination for female director Ava Duvernay the year before, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has taken a very bold step to change the makeup of the Academy membership. Last year they invited a large number of new members, but this year goes way beyond that with a whopping record 683 new invited members, many of them women and people of color.
The list is really exciting! There are so many new women directors now in the group, and that may have the most impact. (Both Wachowski sisters were added.) I note many new women cinematographers, too. The total list had 46% women and 41% new members of color according to Variety.
Idris Elba, who won TWO SAG awards, and was shockingly not nominated for an Oscar for Beasts of No Nation was invited. Other names in the acting category popped out at me like
Nate Parker (for acting, but he’ll be up for directing and best picture next year).
Chadwick Boseman – “Captain America: Civil War,” “Get on Up”
John Boyega – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Attack the Block”
Michael B. Jordan – “Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”
Daniel Dae Kim – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent,” “Crash”
Regina King – “Ray,” “Jerry Maguire”
Freida Pinto – “IMMORTALS”, “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE”
and then Sharmila Tagore!
Among the directors, I was excited to see this name
Deepa Mehta – “MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN”,“WATER”
And especially for Marielle Heller who directed the wonderful THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL
Taika Waititi – “HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE”,“WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS”
Taika Waititi is also the director of the upcoming Thor movie. (Hunt for the Wilderpeople is amazing and is in limited release now in theaters.)
Check out the entire list here.
This is so exciting! I wonder if Sharmila was chosen partly because of her connection to Satyajit Ray? Or something else? The Academy is so terrible at honoring Indian film in general, it would almost have to be Ray, because in her whole 60 year career, I think that might be the only work of hers they have ever acknowledged.
The press release listed these for Sharmila, and it included Satyajit Ray as you suspected:
“THE WORLD OF APU”