Nigeria’s famous film producer, Tunde Kelani has been elected a voting member of the Board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the famous American award platform, otherwise known as the Oscars.
Kelani who is selected in the Director category based on his works ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ and ‘The Narrow Path’, will become a voting member of the Academy alongside Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad,Trumbo) filmmaker and writer Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency, alaskaLand), and Director of International Original Films for Netflix, Funa Maduka.
Last year marked the first time Nigerian creatives were asked to join the Academy following an outcry on its lack of diversity in 2015. By January 2016, the Academy announced that it was going to make radical changes to its voting requirements, recruiting process and governing structure, with an aim toward increasing the diversity of its membership.
Since then, the Academy has been racing to meet its commitment to double female and minority membership by the end of 2020. In 2016, the Academy added 683 members, 774 members in 2017, and in 2018, sent out invitations to 928 new members from 59 countries including Nigeria, India, South Korea and Algeria. The members cut across different sectors in the film industry; from documentary to TV and music.
The 2020 Oscars is scheduled for February 9, 2020.