By Vanessa Obioha
Filmmaker and cinematographer Tunde Kelani, is among the few Nigerians invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. Last year marked the first time Nigerian creatives were asked to join the Academy following an outcry on its lack of diversity in 2015. They include documentary filmmaker Femi Odugbemi, actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Ngozi and Simon Onwurah
This year, Kelani who was selected in the Director category based on his works ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ and ‘The Narrow Path’, will become a voting member of the actor alongside Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad,Trumbo) filmmaker and writer Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency, alaskaLand), and Director of International Original Films for Netflix, Funa Maduka.
Last year, the Academy sent 928 invitations to new members across the world. This year however, only 842 invitations were sent to film industry professionals in 59 countries. Racing to meet its commitment to double female and minority membership by the end of 2020, this year’s invitation saw a significant increase in female and minority membership. 50% of the new members invited are made up of women while 29% are people of colour.
The 2020 Oscars is scheduled for February 9, 2020.