Art and Experience: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 774 new members to join the Oscars organization, including four Iran cineastes.
Bringing the total membership closer to 8,500, the new list includes four Iran cineastes, including director Mohammad Rasoulof, film editor Hayedeh Safiyari, sound engineer Mohammadreza Delpak and producer Hengameh Panahi.
Rasoulof, born in 1972, is an Iranian independent filmmaker who studied sociology. His first feature-length film, released in 2002, was awarded with the Crystal Simorgh for the Best First Film at the Fajr Film Festival. He has made more than 10 movies and won several national and international awards.
Safiyari, born in 1959, has been nominated for awards such as Crystal Simorgh at the Fajr Film Festival and won some awards, including Asian Film Award for Best Editor.
Delpak, born in 1964, received Best Sound Recording Crystal Simorgh at the Fajr Film Festival.
Panahi was born in Iran and attended the Jeanne D’Arc French School in Tehran. She founded a company called Celluloid Dealers in 1985, which was subsequently changed to Celluloid Dreams. She has been operating the company and produced several movies, including ‘Son of Rambow’, ‘The Comedian’, ‘Over Your Dead Body’, and ‘Bone Tomahawk’.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global organization, representing the best of an international art form, and has members in countries all over the world.
The Oscars organization membership is limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures. The Academy has 17 branches, for the crafts ranging from Actors to Writers.
The academy has been under pressure to diversify its membership for several years and the list shows that it had a big push to add women and people of color to the organization.
Reflecting a 359 percent jump from 2015 to 2017, 39 percent of this year’s invitation is comprised of women.
The late great Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami was among the list of the invitees last year.