The Academy Invites Shabana Azmi, SS Rajamouli to join the class of 2024

Bollywood’s own Shabana Azmi, ‘RRR’ director SS Rajamouli, producer Ritesh Sidhwani and acclaimed cinematographer Ravi Varman are among the 487 new members invited this year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Membership selection to the Academy is based on professional qualification as well as the institution’s ongoing commitment to a diverse panel of artistes from around the world and inclusivity.

The Los Angeles Institution shared a statement on their website, stating their new selections include artists and executives who’ve distinguished themselves in their professional career. 

Shabana Azmi, daughter of industry veterans Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat Azmi, made her debut in Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ (1974) and has completed 50 years in the industry this year. An industry stalwart herself, she has starred in over 140 Hindi films and 12 international productions. Most notable among which are: ‘Arth’ (1982), ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ (2012), and most recently ‘Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani’ (2023).

SS Rajamouli, celebrated globally for his groundbreaking work in Indian cinema, most notably and recently ‘RRR’ (2022) that went on to win an Academy Award and also the epic ‘Baahubali’ (2015, 2017) series, acknowledged the honor as a significant milestone in his career.

Ritesh Sidhwani, co-founder of Excel Entertainment, which has produced numerous critically acclaimed films, including ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001) and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (2011) welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the Academy’s mission. Ravi Varman, the cinematographer behind visually stunning films such as ‘Barfi!’ (2012) and ‘Tamasha’ (2015) expressed his gratitude and highlighted the importance of diverse perspectives in shaping the future of cinema.

Other Indian members of the Academy presently include AR Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Aamir Khan. 

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