Nine Indian artists invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

New Delhi: Nine Indian artists have been invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year, in a major move for the Indian film industry. Veteran actor Shabana Azmi, ‘RRR’ director SS Rajamouli, producer Ritesh Sidhwani, and noted cinematographer Ravi Varman are among the new 487 members invited by the Academy. In a statement shared on its website, the Academy on late Tuesday night said the list includes artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Membership selection is based on professional qualifications, with an ongoing commitment to representation, inclusion and equity, according to the Los-Angeles based institution. Azmi, a stalwart in both Indian and international cinema, has been invited to join the Actors branch. The news comes as Azmi completes 50 years in the industry; she made her groundbreaking debut in Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ (1974).

Cinematographer Ravi Varman and independent filmmaker Rima Das. Photos | Instagram

Known for films such as ‘Godmother’, ‘Arth’, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, ‘In Custody’ and most recently ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’, the multiple award winning actor has starred in over 140 Hindi films and 12 international productions.
Rajamouli, the man behind the epic period spectacle ‘RRR’ which became the first Indian feature production to win an Academy Award in 2023, has been included in the Director’s branch.
Independent filmmaker Rima Das, known for acclaimed and awarded titles such as ‘Tora’s Husband’ and ‘Village Rockstars’, is also joining Rajamouli in the segment. Renowned producer Sidhwani, who has backed celebrated movies such as ‘Gully Boy’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, will be part of the Producers branch.

Director of photography Varman has been invited to join the Cinematographers branch. His credits include ‘Japan’, ‘Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two’, ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’, and Shankar’s upcoming ‘Indian 2’. Rama Rajamouli, ‘RRR’ costume designer and wife of Rajamouli, has been invited to the Costume Designers branch. Part of the Production and Technology branch is choreographer Prem Rakshith, who created the complex but perfectly synthesised moves in the best original song Oscar winner ‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’.
Sheetal Sharma, known for his work on movies such as Gangubai Kathiawadi and Kesari, will join Rama Rajamouli in the section. Documentary filmmaker Hemal Trivedi (Among the Believers, Saving Face) is part of the Documentary branch.

Producer Ritesh Sidhwani and costume designer Sheetal Sharma. Photos | Instagram

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s class of new members to the Academy. These remarkably talented artists and professionals from around the world have made a significant impact on our filmmaking community,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said in a joint statement. From the Indian film industry, A R Rahman, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Suriya, Vidya Balan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Ali Fazal, Aditya Chopra, Guneet Monga, Reema Kagti, Ekta Kapoor, and Shobha Kapoor are already members of the Academy.
(With PTI inputs)