Three Iranian film personalities have been invited as members by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as the Oscars awards body acts to boost diversity with 928 member invitations.
This is a record number of invitations by the Academy, beating last year’s record of 774 new members.
The expansion is said to be an effort for more diversification. According to Variety, the new invited class is 49% female, which brings the total representation of women to 31% – a considerable boost compared to the 28% representation in 2017. Meanwhile, the representation of people of color has increased from 13% in 2017 to 16%.
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The Academy membership invitations for 2018 have been extended to Iranian cinematographer Hossein Jafarian, for his contribution in Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’, as well as Ali Asgari and Farnoosh Samadi for ‘Gaze’ and ‘The Silence’ in the short film and feature animation section.
Ali Asgari and Farnoosh Samadi
Other notable actors invited include Timothee Chalamet, Emilia Clarke, Lily James, Evan Rachel Wood and Dave Chappelle.
India received 20 invitations this year, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aditya Chopra, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Naseeruddin Shah.
J.K. Rowling, Emily V. Gordon, Jonathan Nolan, Joe Robert Cole and Virgil Williams are among the most distinguished writers invited by the Academy.