Thornton, Perkins, Debicki among the Aussies invited to join Oscars body

Warwick Thornton.

Warwick Thornton, Rachel Perkins, Craig Gillespie, Elizabeth Debicki and producers Bridget Ikin and Melanie Coombs are among the 928 screen practitioners who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Among the other Aussies admitted to the Oscar-granting body are Nash Edgerton, DOP Bonnie Elliott, Josh Lawson, stunt coordinator/action unit director Guy Norris and eOne’s Troy Lum.

The Academy has been widening its ranks in the quest for greater diversity since 2016 when 92 per cent of its 6,241 voting members were white and 75 per cent were male.

Last year 283 international industry professionals received invitations. Nearly half of this year’s record intake- 460- came from 59 countries around the globe.

Some 49 per cent of the class of 2018 are female, which will bring the overall percentage of women in the Academy to 31 per cent, up 6 per cent since 2015.

Of the incoming members 38 per cent are people of colour, which, should they all accept, would boost their overall representation to 16 per cent, double that of three years ago.

Thornton (Sweet Country) and Elliott (Slam, Romper Stomper) join the cinematographers’ branch while Perkins (Mystery Road series, Jasper Jones) and I, Tonya’s Gillespie join the directors’ branch.

Ikin’s producer credits include Sherpa and The Rehearsal and, as executive producer, Jirga. Debicki recently starred in Peter Rabbit, Breath and Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2.

Coombs (Mary and Max, Harvie Krumpet) and Lawson, who was nominated with the director Derin Seale for an Oscar for their short film The Eleven O’Clock, both join the short film and animation branch.

Edgerton and Norris, whose credits include Suicide Squad, Ghost In The Shell and Mad Max: Fury Road, are members-at-large. Lum, eOne’s executive vice president of international productions, joins the ranks of industry executives.

Each of the Academy’s 17 branches draws up its own list of members and candidates must be sponsored by two members of the branch.

New members will be welcomed into the Academy at invitation-only receptions in the northern autumn.

The full list is here.