CULTURE Wu Jing, Zhao Tao join Oscar voters


Wu Jing, Zhao Tao join Oscar voters

17:05, July 03, 2020

Chinese actor Wu Jing, actress Zhao Tao and actor Huang Jue are invited to become new members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences class. [File photo/Xinhua]

Chinese actors Wu Jing and Huang Jue and actress Zhao Tao have joined the new Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences class to become Oscar voters.

Wu Jing, who acted in and directed China's highest-grossing films, such as "Wolf Warrior 2" and "The Wandering Earth," is one of the 819 filmmakers, film-related professionals, executives, and artists invited to join the Academy in 2020.

Two other Chinese artists have been chosen as new members. Zhao Tao, the actress and wife of Chinese art-house filmmaker Jia Zhangke, who has starred in many of Jia's art-house films, such as "Ash Is Purest White" and "Mountains May Depart," and Huang Jue, a veteran actor who has starred in popular Chinese art-house films, such as "Letter From an Unknown Woman" and "Long Day's Journey into Night," are both on the list.

In the documentary director category, new additions include Zhou Hao, who directed "Cotton," and Chaowei Chang, who directed "Chong Tian (The Rocking Sky)."

Some Chinese descendant filmmakers outside China are also on the new list, including actresses Constance Wu ("Hustlers," "Crazy Rich Asians") and Awkwafina ("The Farewell," "Crazy Rich Asians"), actor Tzi Ma ("The Farewell," "Arrival"), and director Lulu Wang ("The Farewell," "Posthumous").

The Academy has continued the push for diversity among its membership. The 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international from 68 countries and regions outside the United States, the Academy announced on Tuesday.

"We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. "We are committed to staying the course."

An Oscar statuette is on display in Los Angeles. [File photo/Xinhua]

Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite movement, the Academy has been making sharp changes to its voting body, which was once heavily white and male. The organization said that it has surpassed inclusion goals set in 2016 as part of an initiative to double the number of women and minorities by 2020.

In a Twitter post thanking the Academy, Director Lulu Wang pointed out the challenge ahead. "Very excited to be a new member of @TheAcademy with so many brilliant minds. Though there is still much work to be done, this class looks more like an actual jury of our PEERS than ever before, so that's a step in the right direction. Onwards!"

The Academy's new members also include Oscar Best Picture winner "Parasite" actors Choi Woo-Shik, Jang Hye-Jin, Jo Yeo-Jeong, Park So-Dam, and Lee Jung-Eun, alongside John David Washington, Cynthia Erivo, Ana de Armas, Zendaya, Eva Longoria, and more.

Chinese filmmakers, from directors Ang Lee, John Woo, Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-wai, Johnnie To, Peter Chan, Jiang Wen, Jia Zhangke, Gu Changwei, Feng Xiaogang, and Ann Hui to actors Tony Leung, Carina Lau, Andy Lau, Jet Li, Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Cheung, Sylvia Chang, Donnie Yen, and Vivian Wu, as well as executives Wang Zhongjun, Wang Zhonglei and Yu Dong, were previously invited by the Academy to become Oscar voters.

They will be able to vote on the 2021 Oscar nominees.

As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony has been shifted from Feb. 28 to April 25, 2021. In turn, the Oscars eligibility period for feature films, which began on Jan. 1, 2020 and was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020, has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021.

Oscar shortlist voting will now run from Feb. 1 through Feb. 5. Nomination voting will now run from March 5 through March 10, while nominations will be announced on March 15. Final voting will run from April 15 through April 20.

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