The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has invited 928 new members (up from last year’s 683 invitees), 49 percent female filmmakers from across the world. In a three-part FF2 Media series, we examine the efforts of AMPAS to actively create gender balance in screenwriting, directing and overall diversity in filmmaking.
The new, international class represents 20 percent of the voters and 77 countries. “We really are committed to making this an organization for international artists,” academy Chief Executive Dawn Hudson told the Times in 2017.
The foreign and international representation covers directors, documentarians, editors and writers, as well as cinematographers, production and costume designers, composers, sound mixers and editors, visual effects artists and animation makers. The more diverse voters break down into several geographic places: Asia, Europe, the U.K., Australia, and Spanish speakers from the Americas and Spain, while Scandinavia and Africa remain small.
Some prominent figures to this year’s class include J.K Rowling, Emily V. Gordon, and Vanessa Taylor as well as Zhao, Nadine Labaki, Rebecca Zlotowski and others. Among the countries represented by female filmmakers this year are China, France, Germany, Lebanon, England, Poland, among others.
“Due to the increased influx of foreign talent in all branches, publicists and marketers will have to find ways to deal with members who are more spread out — which makes networking a bit harder,” according to Anne Thompson at IndieWire. “Some wonder about the international members who don’t speak English; while festivals may have subtitled prints, where Oscars are concerned, English is the lingua franca.”
Due to recent backlash and the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaigns, the Academy is aiming to actively diversify membership. Membership in the Academy is by invitation only and is divided into 17 branches, representing different disciplines in motion pictures.
This year’s invitees include:
Giora Bejach – Foxtrot, Lebanon
Céline Bozon – Félicité, Black Heaven
Bonnie Elliott – Spear, Teenage Kicks
Dana Gonzales, ASC – Shot Caller, Incarnate
Paula Huidobro – Oh Lucy!, Permanent
Irina Lubtchansky – Ismael’s Ghosts, My Golden Days
Claire Mathon – A Violent Life, Staying Vertical
Urszula Pontikos – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Second Coming
Alexis Zabé – The Florida Project, Post Tenebras Lux
Chloe Zhao – The Rider
Julie Peyr – Ismael’s Ghosts
Clio Barnard – The Selfish Giant, The Arbor
Annemarie Jacir – Wajib, When I Saw You
Nadine Labaki – Capernaum, Where Do We Go Now?
Rachel Perkins – Jasper Jones, Bran Nue Dae
Angela Robinson – Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Herbie: Fully Loaded
Alice Rohrwacher – Happy as Lazzaro, The Wonders
Béla Tarr* – The Turin Horse, The Man from London
Aisling Walsh – Maudie, The Daisy Chain
Chloé Zhao* – The Rider, Songs My Brother Taught Me
Rebecca Zlotowski – Planétarium, Grand Central
Read the full list of invitees.
© Nikoleta Morales (7/31/18) FF2 Media
Photo: Clio Barnard (from Variety)