Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Anupam Kher are among the 842 new members invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in its latest push to become more inclusive.

The Academy has a notorious reputation for being inclusive to white male members in the past which has affected the nominations and winners of the Oscars.

The latest Indian members are Kher who has starred in Hollywood films such as "Hotel Mumbai" and "The Big Sick" while Akhtar, who has been invited in the Directors' branch, most recently directed "Gully Boy".

Kashyap has been invited in the Short Films and Feature Animation branch. "Lunchbox" writer-director Ritesh Batra is also a part of the new invitees' list.

In the Visual Effects branch, Sherry Bharda of "Hichki" was selected and Srinivas Mohan, best known for his work on "2.0" and "Baahubali: The Beginning".

Srinivas Mohan is excited about getting his invite from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to join its ranks.

"This is a huge privilege to have been invited to be a member of The Academy and I am extremely happy about it. It just means that I have more responsibility and I am hoping to see a lot more good work from around the world," he said, who also credits the support he has received from directors like Shankar and SS Rajamouli throughout his career.

"The creative challenges that they have thrown at me have always pushed me to do better".

The Academy, which is behind the annual Oscar Awards, has invited members from 59 countries and half of them are women.

With this, the overall percentage of women in the Academy has increased from 25 per cent in 2015 to 32 per cent this year.

The overall membership of people of colour has doubled from 2015 which was at 16 per cent and this year, they make up 29 per cent of the total invitees.

Among the 842 invited, 21 are Oscar winners while 82 members are Oscar nominees.

The organisation had invited 928 new members in 2018 which included Indian names such as Shah Rukh Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu and Madhuri Dixit.

Article Source: Times of India

Photo source: Economic Times