Last year, president Cheryl Boone Isaacs made strides to make the Academy of Motion Pictures of America a more inclusive organization. In a released statement, she pledged to make sure its membership could better reflect the world at large. And a few months later she made good on her word. The Academy invited more than 600 new members including actors America Ferrera, Oscar Isaac, and Michelle Rodriguez, as well as filmmakers like Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent) and Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman). Many think that infusion of new blood into the esteemed institution no doubt led to the surprise win of Moonlight over La La Land earlier this year.
But if you thought last year’s list was a step in the right direction, just you wait until you get a look at this year’s. The Academy has just invited a record 774 new members in its various branches. Committed to diversifying its ranks, these invited members hail from 57 countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Venezuela. And when you break down the numbers, you see that of those in the list 39 percent are female and 30 percent are people of color. Those numbers alone help explain how, since 2015, the Academy has seen a 359% increase in female invitees and 331% increase in people of color invited to join. In fact, seven of the branches invited more women than men this year. Now those are some statistics we can get behind.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 29, 2017
To celebrate this year’s invitees, we’ve compiled a list of 15 people we’re thrilled have been asked to join the most prominent and longstanding movie industry institutions in the world. From a certain Moana songwriter who likes to pose inappropriately with Oscar statues and an actor soon to be seen as Gianni Versace on the small screen to Cannes favorite directors and up-and-coming Mexican cinematographers, take a look at who’ll help decide Oscar races for decades to come.
[h/t: The Hollywood Reporter]