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Fri Aug 26 00:03:30 SAST 2016

Oscars appoints new board members to increase diversity

Bang Showbiz | 16 March, 2016 13:26
Cheryl Boone Isaacs
Image by: Bang Showbiz

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences have appointed three new members to the board of governors and a number of Academy members to various committees in their efforts to improve diversity.

President Cheryl Boone Isaacs has appointed Reginald Hudlin - who produced the recent Academy Awards - to the the directors branch, Gregory Nava to the writers branch and Jennifer Yuh Nelson to short films and feature animation, and their three-year terms will begin immediately.

Isaacs said: ''I'm proud of the steps we have taken to increase diversity. However, we know there is more to do as we move forward to make this a more inclusive organization.''

In addition, several Academy members were also appointed to various board committees. Mexican actor Gael García Bernal joins the awards and events committee, cinematographer Amy Vincent has been appointed to the preservation and history committee, the museum committee welcomes producer Effie Brown, and executive Marcus Hu and animator Floyd Norman join the education and outreach committee. Executive Vanessa Morrison has been appointed to the finance committee and producer Stephanie Allainis now a part of the membership and administration committee.

The appointments were made as part of a drive to bring in new voices with differing points of view to counter criticism the Academy is losing touch with the realities of modern filmmaking. The board also reaffirmed its previous resolution that Academy voters must be active in the motion picture industry, with criteria defined as those who have worked in the motion picture industry in the last 10 years; those who have worked anytime during three 10-year periods whether consecutive or not; members who have won or been nominated for an Oscar.

Starting this spring, the committees will meet every two years to review their members and determine any potential reclassifications. The committees also will adopt an appeals process for members who may lose their voting privileges under the new criteria. The Academy vowed in January to make changes following the row over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations.

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