Indian film professionals and alumni of Jamia Milia Islamia, a central university in New Delhi, documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham and Amit Mahadesiya were invited to judge the Oscars. After facing years of criticism due to its lack of diversity in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), USA, they offered membership to more than 800 film professionals across 68 countries.
Social media users are sharing the tweets and the social media pages of three filmmakers are flooding with messages congratulating them for their achievement.
A twitter user @ranjithoskote tweets: ”Many many congratulations to you and Shirley, dear Amit, on this splendid recognition of your achievements!”
According to a local news source, this will allow the three alumni members to vote across categories in the Academy Awards or Oscars.
Documentary filmmaker, Nishtha Jain, has won 25 international and national film awards. She is also the recipient of fellowships that included the Global Media maker Award (2019) and the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship to teach and research at the University of Texas during 2019.
Shirley Abraham and Amit Mahadesiya’s debut documentary Cinema Travelers has premiered as an official selection at Cannes Film festival. The documentary has also been premiered at the Toronto, and New York Film Festival and winning 19 awards including the Presidents Gold Medal in India.
Upon getting the news about being invited to the Academy, Shirley Abraham expressed her happiness on Twitter.
After sharing the news on Twitter, @amitmadheshiya tweeted: ” I am incredibly honoured to be invited to join @TheAcademy! And thrilled to be in the class of 2020 with my brilliant collaborator @shirley_abraham and many wonderful friends.
Hollywood has been reckoning with a lack of diversity and portrayal of racism on-screen amid protests over the death of George Floyd. Criticism of the movie academy intensified in 2015 with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
Among other new measures, the film academy will guarantee ten best picture contenders annually to give more films a shot at the industry’s most prestigious prize.