Vidya Balan, Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor among 395 new Academy members

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Vidya Balan, Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor among 395 new Academy members

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Bollywood star 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. In an announcement shared on its website, the Academy said the list includes artistes 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, Vanessa Kirby, Darius Marder, Christina Oh, Kemp Powers, Paul Raci and Steven Yeun have also been invited by the Academy this year.

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The Academy, that has been focusing on diversity since 2015’s the #OscarsSoWhite uproar, said the class of 2021 features 46 per cent women, 39 per cent underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 53 per cent international artistes from 49 countries outside of the United States.

The list of invitees also includes Disney chief Bob Chapek, UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer, Apple TV+ chiefs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, Entertainment Studios head Byron Allen, Skydance Media chief David Ellison and Netflix director of original animation and family features Janet Wu.

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The Academy said the number invited to membership was limited to roughly half that of recent years, 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 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 are already the Academy members. 

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