Vidya Balan, Ekta Kapoor, and Shobha Kapoor are among the 395 film industry personalities who've been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the governing body behind the Oscars.
Vidya Balan was recognised for her performances in 'Tumhari Sulu' and 'Kahaani'. Ekta Kapoor has been recognised for 'Dream Girl' and 'Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai', while her mother Shobha has been recognised for 'Udta Punjab' and 'The Dirty Picture'.
Other actors who've been invited to join The Academy include Robert Pattinson, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Kirby, Steven Yeun, and others. The directors who've been invited include Cathy Yan, Jonathan Glazer, Emerald Fennell and more.
The Academy has been in the midst of sweeping change, mostly around inclusivity and diversity. The changes were introduced after harsh criticism that most of the Academy's voting body is Caucasian, causing an internal bias in the voting process for the Oscars.
Vidya was most recently seen in director Amit Masurkar's Sherni, which was released on Amazon Prime Video. Other Indian stars who have been invited to join the Academy and vote in the Oscars in the past include Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Irrfan Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Salman Khan and filmmakers Goutam Ghose and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.
The Board of Governors of the Academy approved branch-specific membership criteria. Only those who accept the invitations will be added to the membership.