Abbas Kiarsotami among new members of Academy

July 1, 2016

TEHRAN – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has picked Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarsotmai to join the organization as the Academy issued a record new membership of 683 on June 29. 

The new members range from rising stars like John Boyega of “Star Wars” and Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” to musicians like Mary J. Blige and Will.i.am to internationally recognized directors like Great Britain’s Ken Loach, the academy has announced on its website.

Abbas Kiarostami left Iran last week to receive additional treatment at a hospital in Paris by an air ambulance owned by MK2, the producer of Kiarostami’s latest film.

Kiarostami, 76, was hospitalized in mid-March at Tehran’s Jam Hospital and underwent several operations. Although he didn’t recover fully, he left the hospital late in April.  

He has been suffering repercussions from several operations for his severe gastrointestinal disease.

The filmmaker is famous as an artist who stayed in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, while others chose to live abroad. Kiarostami achieved international recognition for Iranian cinema after his “Taste of Cherry” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1997.

Almost half the people invited to join the organization that bestows the Oscars this year are women and almost as many people of color, the body announced on Wednesday in a bid to honor its vow to push for greater diversity.

The class of 2016 includes 28 Oscar winners and 98 nominees, who collectively represent 109 nominations. Of the new invitees, 283 are considered international members, representing 59 countries.

RM/YAW
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