The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the list of 395 artists and executives that have been invited to join this year. Bollywood actor Vidya Balan and producers Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor are among the new list of invitees of the Academy’s ‘Class Of 2021’. If they accept, which most do, they will have voting privileges at next year’s Oscars.
Other newcomers include Oscar-winners Youn Yuh-jung, Emerald Fennell and Florian Zeller. Celebrities like Andra Day, Henry Golding, Vanessa Kirby, Robert Pattinson and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II have also been invited to join this year.
The Academy announced the names of the 395 invitees on their website. Their tweet read, “It’s time to announce our new members! Meet the Class of 2021. #WeAreTheAcademy.”
The Academy recognised Balan for some of her iconic films such as the 2012 mystery thriller ‘Kahaani’ and the 2017 family drama ‘Tumhari Sulu’.
Balana’s acting credits also include movies like ‘Paa’, ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’, ‘Parineeta’, ‘Bobby Jasoos’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘Shakuntala Devi’, among several others.
Meanwhile, producers Ekta and her mother Shobha, who own the production house Balaji Telefilms, have been recognised by the Academy for bankrolling films such as ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’, ‘Udta Punjab’ and Balan’s ‘The Dirty Picture’.
This year, the Academy has invited 395 people, about half the number of last year’s class, when it invited 819 members, reported Variety.
The Academy said in a statement, “To enable steady future growth and to ensure the necessary infrastructure, staff resources and environment to support all Academy members, the number invited to membership was limited to roughly half that of recent years.”
The 2021 class is comprised of 46 per cent women, 39 per cent underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 53 per cent international from 49 countries outside the United States. Of the 395 invitees, 89 are former Oscar nominees, including 25 winners.
The Academy’s 2020 class included actors Alia Bhatt and Hrithik Roshan, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain and Amit Madheshiya, designer Neeta Lulla, casting director Nandini Shrikent, visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal.
Other Indian celebrities who have been invited to join the Academy and vote in the Oscars in the past include Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Salman Khan and filmmakers Goutam Ghose and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.
The upcoming 94th Academy Awards are expected to be held on March 27, 2022.