Local Black lesbian filmmaker Yvonne Welbon was among the 819 artists and executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The 2020 class is 45 percent women, 36 percent underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 49 percent international individuals, from 68 countries. There are 75 Oscar nominees, including 15 winners, and five recipients of Scientific and Technical Awards.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2020.
Last year, Welbon's Chicago-based nonprofit Sisters in Cinema, with support from Chicago Women's Foundation LBTQ Giving Council, awarded three first-time feature filmmakers with a $2,500 grant for the production of a documentary film. Sisters in Cinema launched in 1997 as an online resource for and about African-American women filmmakers.
Just a few of the other invitees include actors Awkwafina, Tyne Daly, Cynthia Erivo, Ana de Armas, Brian Tyree Henry, Eva Longoria, John David Washington and Olivia Wilde; casting directors Javier Braier and Nandini Shrikent; cinematographers Katsumi Yanagijima and Chayse Irvin; and directors Lulu Wang and Robert Eggers.