Native Women & Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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Native creative women, it’s official, the 2016 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of America wants some of us in the Oscar awards deciding house!

Women directors Deepa Mehta, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Producer Heather Rae have been invited into the previously almost exclusively, white, male, older membership. They are part of what the Academy hopes will bring about a radical overhaul to one of the most exclusive and elite film clubs in the world and the ensuing annual Oscar awards.

Yes, these native women are invited because they make, and are making great films.

No, the Academy did not see fit to invite them previously because as almost all white older male members, they were only presented with films made by white men and had no idea of films made by native women or if native women directors, producers, screenplay film writers were real or existed.

Yes, social media #OscarSoWhite did work to open the doors and the brains behind this hashtag, April Reign and her update on this development is included at the end.

Yes, the work of women in film and television the world over has worked to bring this change about.

To give an idea of how radical for this institution and its awards which has been around since 1929 of  the inclusion of native women as members in 2016 is;

” Last year, Mashable reported that no Native Americans have ever been nominated for or received an Oscar. Few women of indigenous descent have been recognized for awards at all: Maori actress Keisha Castle-Hughes was nominated for Whale Rider in 2002, but lost to Charlize Theron’s role as Aileen Wuornos in Monster.”

Yes, it’s a celebration for native women film creatives to have these new Academy members for its the members who decide on who wins.

But the membership diversity figures overall as published by the Academy however shows how tiny that ‘radical’ move actually is.

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While as a Polynesian I am proud of my fellow native creatives and their achievements to date as Oscar nominees and now Academy members, I am looking forward to celebrating when Native Americans, the First nations people of Turtle Island,  have the opportunity to be nominated and win Oscars. 

 

 

The full list of new Academy members is found here. 

April Reign https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jun/30/oscars-academy-new-members-small-step-diversity

#n8Oscars #nativecreatives #n8womenfilmdirectors #n8womenproducers #n8womenwriters

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