Funke Akindele, Aïssa Maïga, Newton Aduaka and Blessing Egbe Invited to join the Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited several African artists to join the Oscar organizer’s membership ranks.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Actors Aïssa Maïga, Funke Akindele and directors Newton Aduaka (“One Man’s Show,” “Ezra”) and Blessing Egbe (“African Messiah,” “Iquo’s Journal”) will become Oscar-voting members.

Funke Akindele

Others on the list include Jesse Plemons, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Kodi Smit-McPhee and “The Queen of Basketball‘s” Ben Proudfoot in the Documentary branch.

The Academy’s initiative was to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities by 2020, which it said last year it had exceeded.  44% of the invitees are women, and 37% of the group belongs to underrepresented communities.

Membership selection is based on professional qualifications and are extended to executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

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