Academy Invites 127 to Membership

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invitations to join the organization to 127 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves in the field of theatrical motion pictures. Under a revised ap-proach to membership, the group will be the only new members invited to join the organization in 2004. Invitations in prior years were extended twice yearly.

“This remarkably accomplished group is a slightly smaller one than we’ve extended invitations to in recent years,” said Academy President Frank Pierson. “It reflects a decision we’ve made to slow the growth of the Academy somewhat, and to become even more selective in our membership process.”

“The new approach is the result of a reevaluation by the branch executive committees and the Academy’s Board of Governors of the fundamental way in which members have been accepted into the Academy,” Pierson said.

“In the most recent dozen years, entrance standards in all branches have tightened considerably, but the process still has allowed the branch commit-tees to accept occasional candidates who have met just the minimum criteria for consideration.

“Now we are asking the committees each year to ‘give us your most impressive candidates.’ And that changes the nature of the selection process dramatically,” Pierson said.

“The idea is that over the next twenty years or so we’ll bring about an Academy that is as distinguished as we can possibly make it.”

Pierson said that although the membership procedures instituted this year allow the organization to grow – after filling vacancies resulting from deaths and members opting for retired (non-voting) status – by a maximum of thirty new members annually, the Academy’s voting membership will actually remain at about the same size as last year at this time – about 5,880 members – depending on whether all of the year’s invitees accept their invitations.

Candidates for Academy membership are normally proposed by members and then considered by committees made up of prominent representatives of the organization’s fourteen branches – directors, screenwriters, documen-tary filmmakers, etc. In addition, individuals nominated for Academy Awards, if not already members of the organization, are automatically considered by the appropriate committees though not necessarily invited to membership.

Though the great majority of AMPAS members are based in the U.S., membership is open to qualified filmmakers around the world. The Academy roster currently includes theatrical filmmakers from 36 countries.

The 2004 actor invitees are:


Shohreh Aghdashloo
Paul Bettany
Keisha Castle-Hughes
Patricia Clarkson
Keith David
Hope Davis
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Scarlett Johansson
Viggo Mortensen
Bill Nighy
Sean Penn
Audrey Tautou
Ken Watanabe
Treat Williams