On July 1, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its 2019 class, inviting 842 new members to join the organization behind the Oscars. Among the many industry leaders being tapped by the Academy this year are a number of CalArtians.
Academy invitees for the short films and feature animation branch include: Jim Capobianco (Film/Video BFA 91), animation sequence supervisor on Mary Poppins Returns (2019); Sari Gennis (Film/Video BFA 77), animator and VFX artist; Jennifer Hager (Film/Video BFA 05), supervising animator on Zootopia (2016); Brian Larsen (Film/Video BFA 97), story supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios, filmmaker Nijla Mu’min (Film/Video, Creative Writing MFA 13), director of the critically acclaimed feature Jinn (2018); Bob Persichetti (Film/Video BFA 96), director of the Oscar-winning animated feature Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018); and Josie Trinidad (Film/Video BFA 02), head of story at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
CalArtians in the visual effects branch are: Film Title Designer Randall Balsmeyer (Theater BFA 72), whose work includes Fargo (1996) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993); and Animation Supervisor Lyndon Barrois (Film/Video MFA 95), known for his work on The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Tree Life (2011).
Alums invited to join the writers branch include Anna Biller (Film/Video MFA 93), writer and director of The Love Witch (2016), and Eliza Hittman (Film/Video MFA 10), writer and director of Beach Rats (2017).
Since 2016, the Academy has made a larger effort to increase diversity. This year’s class measures 50 percent women and 29 percent people of color.
In 2015, people of color accounted for only 8% of the Academy body. In 2019, it stands at 16%, the Academy reported. As it stands, the Academy counts 8,946 active members, with 8,733 eligible to vote on the Oscars. The total membership including retired members is 9,794. This year’s number falls short of 2018’s record of 928 invitations.
The full list of 928 new inductees can be viewed on the Academy website.