On Wednesday July 1, the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences released its list of new members, with 819 invitees, including Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerian film director Akin Omotoso, and British-Nigerian actress/singer Cynthia Erivo.
“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” Academy president David Rubin said in a statement.
Next on the Academy’s agenda is Aperture 2025 to advance inclusion and representation in membership and the film community.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson added: “We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one. We are committed to staying the course. I cannot give enough thanks to all our members and staff who worked on the A2020 initiative and to our head of Member Relations and Awards, Lorenza Muñoz, for her leadership and passion in guiding us through to this point and helping to set the path going forward. We look forward to continuing to foster an Academy that reflects the world around us in our membership, our programs, our new Museum, and in our awards.”
Other notable mentions include Ladj Ly, Bernie Taupin, Matthew A. Cherry, Florence Pugh, John David Washington, Eva Longoria, Zendaya and Awkwafina
If the 819 members accept the invites which will most probably be the case, agent members of the 2020 class will be allowed voting privileges at the upcoming Oscars. In an effort to make its members more diverse, 45% of the new members will be women and 36% are people of colour. International make-up is 49% from 68 countries.
This will not be the first time Nigerian filmmakers are making the Academy membership list. In 2018, actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Tinsel producer, Femi Odugbemi and UK-based producer Simon Onwurah were extended invites.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 93rd Oscars will now hold on April 25, 2021, two months later than the initial February date.
— Genevieve Nnaji MFR (@GenevieveNnaji1) July 1, 2020
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