The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences invited 928 new members to join them in 2018, surpassing the numbers for the last two years. This year, the Academy has pushed for inclusivity, with 49% of the new members being female and 38% being people of color.

While each branch of the academy, whether it’s actors or musicians or cinematographers, have their own qualifications that need to be met, the basic requirement to be a candidate is simple: they must have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures.

Of the 928 new members, a mere 27 are of South Asian descent. It’s a staggeringly low number in the scheme of things and it’s proof that Hollywood and the global media needs to cast a much, much wider net when it comes to diversity. However, we’re proud of the new inductees, each of whom have made an incredible impact in cinema.


1. Naveen Andrews

The British-Indo actor is best known for big screen roles like “The English Patient,” “Diana,” and “Bride and Prejudice.” His TV roles include “Lost,” “Sense8,” and “Instinct.”

2. Soumitra Chatterjee

The Indian actor is best known for his collaborations with famed director Satyajit Ray, starring in the third part of the Apu trilogu, “Apur Sansar.”

3. Madhuri Dixit-Nene

Indian superstar Dixit-Nene is known for big screen films like “Devdas,” “Lajja,” “Dil Toh Pagal Hai.” Priyanka Chopra was apparently working with ABC to create a sitcom based on her life in the U.S.

4. Ali Fazal

Indian actor Fazal has worked in Bollywood films like “Fukrey” and “Happy Bhaag Jayegi.” He made his debut in the west with “Furious 7,” followed by a leading role in “Victoria and Abdul.”

5. Mindy Kaling

Kaling was already a small-screen sweetheart, thanks to “The Office” and “The Mindy Project.” In 2018, she had two big budget Hollywood movies, “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Ocean’s 8.”

6. Anil Kapoor

One of Bollywood’s most well-known actors, Kapoor made a splash in Hollywood with roles in “Slumdog Millionaire” and drama show “24.”

7. Shah Rukh Khan

Who doesn’t know India’s King Khan? The actor doesn’t have one of the largest fan followings only in the motherland but also here, in the U.S. He is known for films like “Devdas,” “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,” and “Swades.”

8. Madhabi Mukherjee

One of Bengali cinema’s most critically acclaimed actresses, Mukherjee has starred in remarkable films like “Dibratir Kabya” and “Charulata.”

9. Kumail Nanjiani

Pakistani-American actor Nanjiani made waves with his performance on “Silicon Valley.” In 2017, he delivered the year’s highest grossing indie film “The Big Sick,” based on his own love life.

10. Kal Penn

Kalpen Modi aka Kal Penn is an Indian-American actor whose big screen credits include the “Harold & Kumar” movie series and “The Namesake.” On TV, his impressive roster includes “House,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Designated Survivor.”

11. Naseerudin Shah

One of Indian cinema’s finest actors, Shah’s credits include “Masoom,” “Sarfarosh,” and “A Wednesday.” He also starred in English language films like “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Monsoon Wedding.”

12. Tabu

Another excellent Indian cinema actress, Tabu has worked in English-language movies “The Life of Pi” and “The Namesake.”


1. Anil Mehta

Bollywood movie cinematographer and director Mehta has worked on hit films like “Secret Superstar,” “Kal Ho Na Ho,” and “Lagaan.”


1. Dolly Ahluwalia

Ahluwalia has designed stunning costumes for “Bandit Queen,” “Haider,” “Vicky Donor,” among other Bollywood films. She’s also an actress.

2. Manish Malhotra

Malhotra is, of course, one of India’s most coveted fashion designers and stylists. He’s worked on films like “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,” “Dostana,” “3 Idiots.”


1. Subrata Chakraborty

Art director and production designer Chakraborty has worked on films like “Gulaab Gang,” “Haider,” “Talvar.”

2. Amit Ray

Ray is a Bollywood production designer who has worked on films like “Raazi,” “Padmaavat,” and “Rangoon.”


1. Palak Patel

Patel is an Indian-American producer and executive. He’s produced Hollywood films like “Million Dollar Arm,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” and “Maleficent” among others.


1. Ballu Saluja

Saluja is best known for editing Bollywood films like “Jodha Akbar,” “What’s Your Raashee?” and “Dangal.”


1. Usha Khanna

The third woman ever to enter the music scene in Hindi films, Khanna has composed music for over 120 movies.

2. Sneha Kanwalkar

The Bollywood music director has scored for films like “Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye!” “Singh is Bling,” and “Khoobsurat.”

3. Nitin Sawhney

British-Indian music composer and producer Sawhney is known for scoring music for the BBC series “Human Planet,” “Monsoon,” and Mira Nair’s “The Namesake.”


1. Aditya Chopra

Chopra is a mega movie producer in Bollywood and chairman of conglomerate Yash Raj Films. His films include “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,” “Mohabbatein,” “Jab Tak Hai Jaan,” among several others.

2. Guneet Monga

BAFTA-nominated Indian producer Monga has produced acclaimed films like “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “The Lunchbox,” and “Shahid.”


1. Vanitha Rangaraju

Indian animator Rangaraju works for DreamWorks Animation, and was part of the “Shrek” team. Some of his other works include films like “Madagascar” and “Puss in the Boots.”


1. Debajit Changmai

Changmai has worked provided the sound for Bollywood films like “Raazi,” “Secret Superstar,” “Veere di Wedding.”

2. Bishwadeep Chatterjee

Chatterjee is an Indian music producer whose credits include Bollywood movies including “Devdas,” “Bajirao Mastani,” “Padmaavat,” and “Madras Cafe.”


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