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Sayoko Kinoshita, Michiru Oshima, More Invited to Oscars' Academy

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Cinematographers Takeshi Hamada, Katsumi Yanagijima; animator Fusako Yusaki also invited

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its list of membership invitations on Tuesday. The list includes 819 invitations with 45% extended to women, 36% extended to "underrepresented ethnic/racial communities," and 49% extended to professionals from international film industries across 68 countries.

The number of invitations is less than 2018's record high of 928 invitations and last year's 842 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:

  • Cinematographer Takeshi Hamada. Hamada was the cinematographer on the Oscar-winning Japanese film Departures, as well as Yōjirō Takita's Sakura Guardian in the North film. While Hamada has not worked on anime, he did work on the live-action GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka series.

  • Cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima. Yanagijima was the cinematographer for the The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, Battle Royale, Dolls, Shutter, and Dolls films as well as the director of photography on The Grudge 2. While Yanagijima has not worked on anime, he did work on the live-action Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler film.

  • Music Composer Michiru Oshima. As a film composer, Oshima has composed music for Memories of Tomorrow and Lost Paradise. She was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music seven times, including for those two films. She has also composed music for video games such as Arc the Lad, Ico, and some arrangements in Suikoden and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In anime, Oshima has composed music for Fullmetal Alchemist, Le Chevalier D'Eon, and Little Witch Academia, among many others.

  • Screenwriter Sayoko Kinoshita. Kinoshita wrote the screenplay for several animated documentary shorts such as Pica-don and A Little Journey. She founded the first international animation festival in Asia (in Hiroshima) in 1985, and she is the president of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA), and ASIFA-Japan.

  • Animator Fusako Yusaki. Yusaki, while born in Japan, has lived in Italy for more than 50 years, and is an award-winnng pioneer in claymation. Her works include commercials, films, and children's television programmes, as well as clay animation advertisements for the liqueur Fernet-Branca, and the TV character Peo the blue dog. Some of her claymation works include the The Rose of the Winds and Winter Days shorts.

As part of the "next phase" of its equity and inclusion initiative, the Academy announced on June 12 that the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees from the 94th Academy Awards (with the ceremony taking place in 2022) onward. Other parts of the next phase include "[encouraging] equitable hiring practices and representation on and off screen" and creating a task force to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility.

The Academy announced on June 15 that it has delayed the 93rd Academy Awards by two months due to new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Academy and ABC Television Network have decided that the ceremony will be broadcast on April 25, 2021. The Academy also announced that it is shifting some dates for the awards' eligibility period. The deadline for Animated Feature Film is December 1. The Academy will announce the nominees on March 15, 2021.

The Academy invited Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor 2), Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy), Takashi Nakamura (Harmony, Fantastic Children), Mako Kamitsuna (We Are X, Blackhat), Akira Saki (live-action Ajin), Shigeru Nishiyama (Mirai, Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale), Akiko Matsuba (Shoplifters, 'Like Father, Like Son'), Yuichiro Saito (Mirai, The Boy and The Beast), and Ryo Sakaguchi (Game of Thrones, live-action Speed Racer) last year.

Updated: This article has expanded the profiles of each of the people who have been invited to the Academy.

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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