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Legendary Indian actress Sharmila Tagore, Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto and director Deepa Mehta are among the film personalities of Indian origin, who have been invited by the prestigious Academy of Arts and Sciences to be its members.
This is a significant effort to increase diversity after the controversy earlier this year when there were nominated actors of color for the Oscars.
Invitations members of the Academy extended to 683 filmmakers, artists and distinguished executives representing the best film in our global community and have had a lasting impact on moviegoers around the world.
New members are among the largest and most diverse in the history of 89 years of the Academy class.
This class continues our long-term commitment to welcome thoughtful extraordinary talent working in film today. We encourage the larger creative community to open its doors wider, and create opportunities for anyone interested in working in this incredible story and industry, “said President Cheryl Boone Academy Isaacs in yesterday’s announcement.
Apart from Tagore and Pinto, British director of Indian origin Asif Kapadia, winner of best documentary at the Academy Awards this year for his work on jazz singer Amy Winehouse, also features in the class of new members this year.
Mehta is known for his directing films such as children and water midnight.
The other notable people of Indian origin in the class of 2016 are Pixar animator Sanjay Bakshi, known for his work in the film The Good Dinosaur, producer and animator Sanjay Patel Anish Savjani.