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Makoto Shinkai, Mamoru Hosoda, Sunao Katabuchi Invited to Join Oscars' Academy

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Composer Yoko Kanno, directors Sion Sono, Ru Kawahata, Atsuko Hirayanagi also invited

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its list of membership invitations on Monday. The list includes 928 invitations, the largest number of invitations in the Academy's history (the Academy also had a record number of invitations last year with 774 invitations). The invitations are part of a series of new membership rules to promote diversity in the Academy's ranks, after 2016's nominations led to a backlash against the perceived lack of diversity among nominees. The Academy initiated the changes in January 2016, with the intent to radically diversify its membership by the year 2020.

The Academy extended invitations to the following people involved with Japanese content:

The Academy invited Rinko Kikuchi (The Sky Crawlers, Pacific Rim), Hiroyuki Sanada (The Dagger of Kamui, Onmyoji), and Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Blade of the Immortal) last year.

The Academy has invited Hayao Miyazaki at least four previous times, and it also invited Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki in 2014. Miyazaki's Spirited Away film won an Oscar in 2003, and he personally came to Los Angeles to accept his Honorary Academy Award in 2014.

The Academy invited the late Studio Ghibli director Isao Takahata (Only Yesterday, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) in 2015, but he declined the invitation.

Composer Joe Hisaishi (Spirited Away, Departures), a frequent collaborator on Miyazaki's films, was invited in 2013. Kunio Katō was invited in 2009 after becoming only the second Japanese animator to win an Oscar with his "La Maison en Petits Cubes" ("Tsumiki no Ie" or House of Blocks) short.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter and Ian Whitcombe for the news tips.

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Deadline (Erik Pedersen)

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