Vidya, Ekta among 395 new Academy members
Los Angeles: Vidya Balan and film producers Ekta Kapoor and mother Shobha Kapoor are among 395 new members invited this year by the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS).
In an announcement shared on its website, the Academy said the list includes artists and executives from 50 countries who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Balan, who was recently seen in 'Amazon Prime Video' movie 'Sherni', joins the class of 2021 that also features Hollywood big names such as Janet Jackson, Robert Pattinson, H.E.R., Henry Golding and Eiza Gonzalez.
Mother-daughter producer duo Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor, known for backing Hindi films like 'The Dirty Picture', 'Udta Punjab' and 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbai', are part of the list of producers joining in as new members.
Oscar nominees Yuh-Jung Youn, Emerald Fennell, Dan Janvey, Maria Bakalova, Jon Batiste, Andra Day and many others have also been invited by the Academy this year.
The Academy, which has been focusing on diversity since 2015's 'Oscars So White' uproar, said that the class of 2021 features 46 percent women, 39 percent underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 53 percent international artists from 49 countries outside of the United States.
The list of invitees also include 'Disney' chief Bob Chapek, 'UTA' chief Jeremy Zimmer, 'Apple TV+' chiefs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg and others.
The Academy further said that the number invited to membership was limited to roughly half that of recent years so as to 'enable steady future growth and to ensure the necessary infrastructure, staff resources and environment to support all Academy members.'
The Academy's Board of Governors voted on branch-specific guidelines to be applied in determining this year's new membership invitees.
From the Indian film industry, Oscar-winner A R Rahman, megastar Amitabh Bachchan, superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, as well as producers Aditya Chopra and Guneet Monga are already Academy members.