‘Movies are the glue that binds us’: Alia Bhatt on being invited to join Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Alia Bhatt   | Photo Credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Actor Alia Bhatt, documentary makers Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya, and casting director Tess Joseph, who are among the 12 Indian names to have received invitations to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), said they felt honoured to be included in this year’s batch of members.

Other homegrown talent to be included in the 819 new members line-up are actor Hrithik Roshan, costume designer Neeta Lulla, casting director Nandini Shrikent, documentary filmmaker Nishtha Jain, visual effects supervisors Vishal Anand and Sandeep Kamal, writer Sabrina Dhawan and V Senthil Kumar, co-founder of digital services provider Qube Cinema Technologies.

In her Instagram post on Thursday, Bhatt said she is grateful to the Academy for the invitation.

“I feel honoured and humbled. There is a deep satisfaction in seeing that the voice of Indian cinema is finding a very well-deserved platform on the world stage. Every year more actors, filmmakers, technicians from India are recognised by the Academy and Indian cinema continues to reach the hearts and homes of people all over the world,” the actor, whose last movie “Gully Boy” was India’s official entry for best international feature category at the 2019 Oscars, said.

Bhatt believes that cinema is like water because it knows no race, class, border, or geography, it just flows freely.

“It takes everything in its course: audiences who passionately love or hate it, critics who dissect it, students who immerse themselves in it. Our opinion about films may be divided, but cinema, as a whole, is a powerful binding and unifying force,” she said.

The actor, who was the target of trolls on social media amid actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death last month, said cinema is a “glue” that binds people together.

“In a world that can be unsure and fragmented and at a time when social media, which is meant to connect people, ends up dividing them, movies are the glue that binds us,” Bhatt said.

Collaborators Abraham and Madheshiya, known for their work on docs “The Hour of Lynching” and “The Cinema Travellers”, took to Twitter to share their happiness.

“As an independent filmmaker, I know the value of the legitimacy of my voice, of a place at the table. Honoured to be invited by @TheAcademy to join as a member. Such blazing talent, our class of 2020. A world of work ahead of us and I’m so ready,” Abraham said.

Madheshiya said he is “incredibly honoured” to be invited to join the Academy. .

“And thrilled to be in the class of 2020 with my brilliant collaborator @shirley_abraham and many wonderful friends,” he added.

Joseph, who has cast international titles like Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Lion”, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, said she was delighted to be in the “august company” of the new members.

“Really feels like I made the valedictorian list. Thank you to ?@TheAcademy,” she tweeted.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Academy said the new invitees include 36 per cent of people of colour and 45 per cent women. Artistes from 68 countries have been invited as members.

Those who accept the invitation will have voting rights at the 93rd Academy Awards, scheduled to be held on April 25, 2021.

In 2019, the organisation had invited 842 new members which included Indian names such as filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and veteran actor Anupam Kher.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 5:50:16 PM |

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