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'RRR' team, Karan Johar, Mani Ratnam among new members invited to join Academy members list

The list, however, does not feature the film's director Rajamouli.
Last Updated : 29 June 2023, 16:33 IST

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The "RRR" team, including actors Ram Charan, Jr NTR and composer MM Keeravaani, as well as filmmakers Mani Ratnam and Karan Johar are among the 398 artistes and executives who have received invitations to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The list, however, does not feature the film's director Rajamouli.

"RRR" lyricist Chandrabose, who along with Keeravaani won the Oscar for best original song for the film's blockbuster track "Naatu Naatu" in March, has also received an invitation. Two other invitees include "RRR" cinematographer KK Senthil Kumar and production designer Sabu Cyril, a press release stated.

The filmmaker congratulated the team for the invitation to become Acamedy members that among other things gives them Oscars voting rights.

"Extremely proud that 6 members of our RRR team have been invited as members for The Academy Awards this year. Congratulations Tarak, Charan, Peddanna, Sabu sir, Senthil &Chandrabose garu. Also, congrats to the members from Indian Cinema who received the invitation this year," Rajamouli tweeted with a smiley emoticon.

The fact that six members of the "RRR" family have been invited to join the Los Angeles-based institution is a "proud moment", said Jr NTR, who played the role of Komaram Bheem in the SS Rajamouli directorial.

"I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of them for this well-deserved honor. I thank The Academy for bestowing this honour upon us. I would also like to congratulate my colleagues in the Indian film fraternity who have received invitations from the Academy as well," the actor said in a statement.

In a note shared on his Instagram Stories, Johar extended his "deepest gratitude" for being selected as a member for the Academy in a year which marks the silver jubilee of his career as a filmmaker.

"Twenty-five years of being in the industry of not just films but storytelling, magic and dreams - it all starts and restarts here for me. Thank you for the prestigious honour of representing India, our country in every corner of the world. @theacademy," said the director, who was recently felicitated by the UK Parliament for his contribution to the "global entertainment industry".

Ratnam's frequent collaborator and two-time Oscar winning composer AR Rahman, who is already a member, welcomed the "Ponniyin Selvan" director to the Academy.

"Congratulations #Manirathnam sir for becoming member of the @TheAcademy…. #Oscar #PS 1& 2 #Dilse #Roja #Bombay and many more! Welcome to the club," the music maestro tweeted.

Indian names feature heavily in Academy's class of 2023 with the inclusion of Shaunak Sen, the director of Oscar-nominated documentary "All That Breathes", Siddharth Roy Kapur, the producer of India's official Oscar entry "Chhello Show", and Chaitanya Tamhane, known for critically-acclaimed Marathi titles "The Disciple" and "Court" in the list.

Sen said he is happy to receive a seat at the Academy's table.

"Excited about the films galore that'll be easily available to watch now, and (most importantly) I having a say. Big congratulations to the other Academy inductees from India, and all the friends from the docbranch who are in this year," the director said in an Instagram post.

Production house Roy Kapur Films shared a congratulatory note for its founder on its official Instagram page.

"We are ecstatic and brimming with joy to see our founder, producer # and other esteemed industry veterans taking Indian cinema to greater heights @theacademy," the banner said.

Girish Balakrishnan and Kranti Sarma from the field of production and technology; visual effects artistes Haresh Hingorani and PC Sanath; film executive Shivani Rawat and Shivani Pandya Malhotra, the managing director of Saudi Arabia's Red Sea International Film Festival, were also among the new Academy representing India.

According to the AMPAS, the class of 2023 include 40 per cent women and 34 per cent from underrepresented ethnic/racial communities. 52 per cent of the invitees are from 50 countries and territories outside the US. Seventy-six Oscar nominees, including 22 winners, are among the invitees.

In a statement, Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said the organisation is proud to welcome the "artists and professionals into our membership".

"They represent extraordinary global talent across cinematic disciplines and have made a vital impact on the arts and sciences of motion pictures and on movie fans worldwide,” they added.

The Academy has been actively working to introduce more diversity in its voting to avoid a controversy like 2016 when the Oscars were dubbed “white” for failing to recognise talents of colour.

The 2023 batch boasts of major Hollywood names including Academy award-winning actor Ke Huy Quan, Austin Butler, Kerry Condon, Bill Hader, Nicholas Hoult, Stephanie Hsu, Lashana Lynch, Paul Mescal, Park Hae-il, filmmaking duo The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) and musicians Taylor Swift, Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye and David Byrne.

In 2022, the organisation invited 397 new members which included Indian names such as actors Kajol, Suriya, filmmakers Reema Kagti, Sushmit Ghosh, Rintu Thomas and Pan Nalin.

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Published 29 June 2023, 16:33 IST

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