- Priyanka and Salman have also been invited to join
- The Academy has sent out invites to 774 probable new members
- Maleficient actress Elle Fanning, 19, is the youngest invitee this year
The Academy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a list of over 700 names who have been invited to join the prestigious film body this year. The listicle comprising 774 names also includes Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan along with filmmakers Goutam Ghose and Buddhadeb Dasgupta. The Oscars official website unveiled the list on Wednesday and has Hollywood drama The Great Gatsby and Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham as Amitabh Bachchan’s best recognised films. Meanwhile, Jodhaa Akbar and Devdas are the films that have been listed below Aishwarya’s name while Priyanka’s Hollywood debut Baywatch and Barfi! have made it to the Academy’s list of favourites. Deepika has been identified with Piku and xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, her maiden Hollywood film. For Salman, the Academy has mentioned Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan while for Irrfan they have listed Life Of Pi and Slumgod Millionaire.
There is no official statement on whether the new members will avail the right to vote for the Oscars. However, in an interview to Deadline, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said: “All of our members are professionals at the top of their forms, every last one of them. And I believe that they vote based on their knowledge of particular skill sets, and that’s what they look for. What’s most important is that each year more people are actually looking at more films and really taking a dive into the film, both from their branches and areas of expertise as well as the film itself, and that is certainly what the voting for Oscars is, but it also involves more people getting involved in our Nicholl Fellowship screenwriting awards, or the Student Academy Awards , or the Sci Tech area, all of what we do. It’s not just the Oscars.”
Apart from actors and directors, the Academy has sent out invites also to casting directors, costume designers, make-up artistes, documentary executives and film editors. Arjun Bhasin, who designed costumes for Mira Nair’s 2001 movie Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay! writer Sooni Taraporevala and documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan also feature on the list of names from the Indian film industry.
In a statement on the Oscars official website, Ms Isaacs says: “We’re proud to invite our newest class to the Academy. The entire motion picture community is what we make of it. It’s up to all of us to ensure that new faces and voices are seen and heard, and to take a shot on the next generation the way someone took a shot on each of us.”
Meanwhile, the Academy also highlights that the list of probable new members comprises 39 per cent female invitees while people of colour dominate 30 per cent of it. “From 2015 to 2017, there has been a 359% increase in women invited to join the academy,” the Academy added.
The list of actors also includes Hollywood stars like Monica Belluci, Gal Gadot, Chris Evans, Jon Hamm, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, Dwayne Johnson and others. Maleficient actress Elle Fanning, 19, is the youngest invitee for this year while veteran actress Betty White is the oldest at 95.