Earlier this year, the 2018 Academy Awards took place in California and this year’s ceremony was more diverse than ever before. For example, Jordan Peele made history as the first black man to win an Oscar for his original screenplay, Get Out.
Now, in a major movement to highlight diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 928 new members from 59 countries to be a part of the Academy, with almost half of the new members consisting of more women and minorities. The new line-up of members includes a slew of Middle Eastern personalities, too.
The Academy invited Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki to be a member. During the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Labaki made history by being the first ever Arab woman to receive the Jury Prize Award under the Palme d’Or, plus her film Capernaum received a fifteen-minute standing ovation from a tearful audience.
Labaki is also joined by Algerian-French actress Sofia Boutella, who expressed her excitement via Instagram with a caption that read: “I am so honoured to have been invited to become a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Class of 2018!!”.
Also, Lebanese-born cinematographer Ziad Doueiri became a new member overnight, (courtesy of his creative work behind the film, The Insult, which earned him a film nomination for Best Foreign Language Film), as well as Syrian film director Feras Fayyad.
The list of Middle Eastern personalities were amongst other renowned actresses from the industry such as Emilia Clarke, Lily Collins, Zoey Deutch, Isla Fisher, Tiffany Haddish, Mindy Kaling, Blake Lively, Léa Seydoux and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Congratulations to all the new members!
In other film news, did you know the blouse worn by Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady is up for auction?