Tuesday, June 30, 2015

23 men, 3 women directors invited to join the Academy. This is the most diverse group in history?

A couple of days ago the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its list of this year's invitees to join the Academy's membership. The org. has been slammed in past years for lacking diversity in both gender and race. Under the leadership of Cheryl Boone-Isaacs who is both black and a woman, the Academy hopes to address some of the inequities. The basic rules of membership, and how that membership comes to be though, hasn't changed. With the exception of Academy Award winners, members can only be nominated and it takes two current members to do so. Even then, the board has to approve the invitation. Call me crazy, but it seems to me change will come very slowly as long as you have the old boy network doing the inviting. 

According to Boone, this year's list of 322 is the largest number of people ever invited, and supposedly the most diverse group ever. 
"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 322 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.  Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2015.
“It’s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.  “This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization.”
There's a link at the bottom of the post if you want to check out the full list. First, let's have a look:

The actors branch, the face of the Academy, and mostly what we go to the movies for:

The Ladies First (7)

Elizabeth Banks – “Love & Mercy,” “The Hunger Games”       

Heather Graham – “The Hangover,” “Boogie Nights”                                                   

Felicity Jones – “The Theory of Everything,” “Like Crazy”                                         

Gugu Mbatha-Raw – “Beyond the Lights,” “Belle”                                               

Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl,” “Pride & Prejudice”                                                 

Emma Stone – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” “The Help” 

Jodi Long – “A Picture of You,” “Beginners”

                                                                                                                                           

The Men (18)

Choi Min-sik– “Lucy,” “Oldboy”

Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Imitation Game,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Martin Freeman – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Hot Fuzz”

Tom Hardy – “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Inception”

Kevin Hart – “The Wedding Ringer,” “Ride Along”

Stephen Lang – “Avatar,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats”

John Carroll Lynch – “Shutter Island,” “Zodiac”

Denis O’Hare – “Milk,” “Michael Clayton”

Michael O’Neill – “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Transformers”

David Oyelowo – “Selma,” “A Most Violent Year”

Dev Patel – “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Slumdog Millionaire”

Chris Pine – “Into the Woods,” “Star Trek”

Daniel Radcliffe – “Kill Your Darlings,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2”

Eddie Redmayne – “The Theory of Everything,” “Les Misérables”

Jason Segel – “The Five-Year Engagement,” “The Muppets”

J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash,” “Juno”

Sonny Skyhawk – “Geronimo: An American Legend,” “Young Guns II”

Song Kang-ho – “Snowpiercer,” “The Host”


How do you like those odds? But wait, they get worse. 

With all due respect to Jodi Long, her nomination seems a stretch as Long is primarily a television actress. She is however an actress of Asian descent which I suspect had a little something to do with her invitation. That's great but surely there are more where she came from? I'd love to know who makes up the current membership in its entirety. As past Academy Award winners, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore have all been 'invited' to become members. Did they join? And if so have who have they sponsored? Come on ladies, let's pull together and create a voting body that looks more like the world we live in. If you had the power to nominate a woman, whether she's a composer, a writer, an actor, or any one of the Oscar categories, who would you pick?

I'm listing the female invitees in other categories and their projects below so you can support these notable women working in film. You want to know who the men are, you'll have to look 'em up yourself. I'm feeling grumpy. 



Of 26 directors, 3 are women.

François Girard – “Silk,” “The Red Violin”

Kelly Reichardt – “Meek’s Cutoff,” “Wendy and Lucy”

Lynn Shelton – “Laggies,” “Your Sister’s Sister”


Of 21 writers,  2 are women

Maya Forbes – “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Monsters vs Aliens”

Rita Hsiao – “Toy Story 2,” “Mulan”

Of 25 editors, 4 are women. 

Nadia Ben Rachid – “Timbuktu,” “Bamako” 

Kristina Boden – “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” “Cake” 

Mathilde Bonnefoy* – “CitizenFour,” “Run Lola Run”

Tara Timpone – “Friends with Kids,” “Bad Teacher” 


Of 11 cinematographers, just 1 is a woman

Rachel Morrison – “Cake,” “Fruitvale Station”


Of 16 production designers, 6 are women 

Gae Buckley – “The Book of Eli,” “He’s Just Not That into You” 

Suzie Davies – “Mr. Turner,” “The Children”

Bryn Imagire – “Cars 2,” “Up”

Dina Lipton – “Baggage Claim,” “Love Hurts”

Tatiana Macdonald – “The Imitation Game,” “The Invisible Woman” 

Charlotte Watts – “Mr. Holmes,” “Mr. Turner”

While all 3 costume designers are women...

Kasia Walicka Maimone – “Foxcatcher,” “Moonrise Kingdom”

Francesca Livia Sartori – “Piazza Fontana: The Italian Conspiracy,” “When the Night”

Jany Temime – “Gravity,” “Skyfall”

AND

8 out of 10 casting directors are women

Only 4 of the 19 invitees in the music category are women

Just half of the 10 hair & makeup invitees are women

Three out of the 11 'executives' invited are female.

Of the 26 invitees in the sound category, just four are women.

Of 23 visual effects artists, only 1 is a woman.

But there's also some good news. Of the 12 producers, 7 are women. Seven! Just over half.  Check out the entire list here.



The Academy’s membership process is by sponsorship, not application.  Candidates must be sponsored by two Academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission. 
Additionally, Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership and do not require sponsors. 
Nominees and sponsored candidates are reviewed by branch committees and recommendations for membership are considered by the Academy’s Board of Governors.  The Board decides which individuals will receive invitations.
Membership Reviews take place ONCE a year, in the spring. Our current DEADLINE for ALL proposals is Thursday, March 24, 2016 

Put yourself in Reese Witherspoon's shoes. Or Nicole Kidman's. Tell me. Who would you sponsor? 

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