With Cannes, IIFA, and almost all the awards function effectively cancelled for the year, are you missing all the award show frenzy? Well, us too! The flamboyant ensembles, the red carpet gala, and of course, the anticipation and euphoria around who wins big…aren’t we all yearning for it all? Well, we happen to have some news that might get you slightly excited.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday extended invitations to 819 artists and executives and actors Alia Bhatt and Hrithik Roshan are among those invited to be a part of Oscar’s voting panel this year. The list acknowledges Alia Bhatt’s performances in Gully Boy (India’s official entry for the 2020 Oscars) and Raazi, Hrithik’s performance in Super 30, and Jodhaa Akbar. Now, isn’t just the thought that all of this will get over someday and we will have Oscars to look forward to exciting?
Apart from the two actors, designer Neeta Lulla, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Amit Madheshiya, and Shirley Abraham, director Nandini Shrikant, and visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal have also received the invitation. These people will get the right to vote at the 93rd Academy Awards provided that they accept the invitation. The dates for Oscar Awards 2021 have been declared and they have been scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021.
“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travellers in the motion picture arts and sciences. We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” Academy President David Rubin said in the official statement.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) June 30, 2020
Additionally, in a welcome change, 36 per cent of these Academy invitees this year happen to represent minorities and 45 per cent, women. The official statement as released by the Academy on Tuesday read, “The 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international from 68 countries.”
Vehemently called out in 2016 for being disappointingly “white,” the Academy had set up very specific motives for it’s Class of 2020. The vision was to double the number of women representatives as well as underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020, something that the Academy seems to have achieved this time.
However, as the Academy goes on chasing its goals to become more inclusive, the need also is to remember inclusion doesn’t necessarily mean equality. Artists of colour and minorities have long faced the treacherous culture of snubbing at Oscars. In fact, one of the invitees, The Farewell actress Awkwafina had a taste of the same at Oscars 2020. Add to it the fact that the Oscars 2020 were specifically called out for excluding female filmmakers.
Quite evidently, being disproportionally white is not the only problem here and there is only a certain extent to which the inclusion help. Because let’s not forget that a vast chunk of invitees still happens to be white men and gatekeepers who have kept the jury and invitee panel predominantly white for almost a century. It would be interesting to watch how much of an impact this diversity will have on the Oscars in 2021.
For now, let’s just celebrate the possibility of seeing Alia and Hrithik on the Oscars red carpet next year.
Featured Image: Instagram