TEHRAN. (Iranart) en Iranian cineastes are among the new 774 members from 57 countries which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), known around the world for its annual Academy Awards, or The Oscars, has invited this year in an effort to continue to diversify.
That is a new record for invitees in a single year. The list of all the new actors and actresses invited came along with charts, illustrating the big push to add women and people of color to the academy, which now has about 7,000 members in 17 categories.
Among actresses, there are three Iranians -- Leila Hatami, Nazanin Bonyadi and Golshifteh Farahani -- the latter two are based outside Iran, ISNA reported.
The list of actors also includes famous international stars Monica Bellucci, Gal Gadot, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Anna Faris, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Elle Fanning, Channing Tatum, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof is the only person from Iran who is among the directors in the list. Last year, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami was among the invitees, however, he passed away on July 4 just a week after the announcement was made.
Other renowned filmmakers who have made it to the list this year include Fatih Akin, Tom Ford, Garth Davis and Kim Ki-duk.
Acclaimed Iranian Directors on List
Two acclaimed directors, screenwriters from Iran are listed in the writers’ category, namely Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Bahman Ghobadi.
Film editor Hayedeh Safiyari, sound editor Mohammad Reza Delpak, film producer Hengameh Panahi and visual effects supervisor Mohsen Mousavi are also other cineastes from Iran who have been invited to serve as members of the AMPAS in their own categories.
The new list of added members comprises 39% female and 30% people of color (poc), both numbers increasing overall totals in those categories which has been a focus of AMPAS over the past couple of years.
AMPAS now boasts overall female membership to 28% and poc to 13%, both marking incremental increases year on year in the Academy’s stated journey to doubling those areas by 2020. It seeks candidates who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures.
The academy is a professional honorary organization with the goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Its headquarters is in Beverly Hills, California.
The membership process is by sponsorship, not application. Candidates must be sponsored by two academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission.
Additionally, Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership and do not require sponsors.
Nominees and sponsored candidates are reviewed by branch committees and recommendations for membership are considered by the academy’s board of governors, which decides which individuals will receive invitations.