Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 398 film industry figures to join its ranks as part of the class of 2023. Fifty-three of those people – around 13% of the total – are animation professionals who have been invited to join the Short Films & Feature Animation and Visual Effects branches of the Academy.

Membership selection is based on professional qualifications with, what the Academy claims is “an ongoing commitment to representation, inclusion, and equity.” The overall 2023 group is composed of 40% women, 34% belonging to underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 52% from 50 countries and territories outside the United States. Those numbers, however, don’t represent the breakdown of invitees in the animation sector. For example, only 17% of the invited members were women in the Short Films & Feature Animation and Visual Effects branches. Zero Black artists were invited into the animation branch, the same number as last year.

Also, as last year and the year before that and going back however many years you want, the Academy made no effort to invite Asian filmmakers/artists into its animation branch, despite the fact that nearly 20% of the feature animation Oscar submissions were from Japan and China last year. In fact, only one person from East Asia – 84-year-old South Korean Nelson Shin – was invited into the animation branch, and Shin, ironically, made his name in tv animation, not features or shorts.

An additional point: 26% of the animation professionals invited into Short Films and Animation branch work for The Walt Disney Company, which is by far more invites than any other company received in the branch. Make of it what you will.

In addition to those invited into the animation/vfx branches, several people involved in animation were invited to other branches. New members in the production and technology branch include Pixar research scientist Fernando de Goes, Netflix’s former global director of virtual production Girish Balakrishnan, and Pixar director of post production Cynthia Slavens. The film editors branch invited Ken Schretzmann, who has worked on Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, The Secret Life of Pets, and Toy Story 3. And Raya and the Last Dragon director Carlos López Estrada was invited to the directors branch.

Below are the people invited to join the Short Films & Feature Animation and Visual Effects branches:

Short films and feature animation

Mahyar Abousaeedi – Turning Red, Incredibles 2
Alex Bulkley – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Hell and Back
Bruno Caetano – Ice Merchants, The Peculiar Crime of Oddball Mr. Jay
Dean Fleischer Camp – Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Catherine
Trent Correy – The Godfather of the Bride, Drop
Joel Bryan Crawford – Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Croods: A New Age
Claire Dodgson – Minions: The Rise of Gru, Despicable Me 3
Fabian Driehorst – Night, The Chimney Swift
David DuLac – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Happy Feet Two
Maureen Fan – Namoo, Crow: The Legend
João Gonzalez – Ice Merchants, Nestor
Sara Gunnarsdóttir – My Year of Dicks, The Pirate of Love
Mark Gustafson – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Fantastic Mr. Fox
Travis Hathaway – Incredibles 2, Brave
David Jesteadt – Inu-oh, Belle
Daniel Mark Jeup – Finding Nemo, Toy Story 2
Thomas Jordan – Lightyear, Up
Charlie Mackesy – The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Ian Megibben – Lightyear, Soul
Richard O’Connor – My Friend Nearly Killed Patti Smith, Marianne
Lachlan Pendragon – An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It, The Toll
Emmanuel-Alain Raynal – Steakhouse, Easter Eggs
David Ryu – Luca, Coco
Nidia Santiago – Negative Space, Oh Willy…
Mónica Santos – Between the Shadows, Amélia & Duarte
Nelson Shin – Empress Chung, The Transformers: The Movie
Nathan Warner – Encanto, Zootopia

Visual effects

Gino Acevedo – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
James Lee Baker – Eternals, Ant-Man and the Wasp
A.J. Briones – War for the Planet of the Apes, Tomorrowland
Nick Crew – The Adam Project, Captain Marvel
Jubin Dave – Zootopia, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Pete Dionne – Pokémon Detective Pikachu, A Wrinkle in Time
Arslan Elver – Peter Pan & Wendy, Christopher Robin
Markus Frank – All Quiet on the Western Front, The School of Magical Animals
Brian Gazdik – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Ready Player One
Seth Hill – Top Gun: Maverick, Welcome to Marwen
Haresh Hingorani – Laal Singh Chaddha, Zero
Kamil Jafar – All Quiet on the Western Front, Never Look Away
Arek Komorowski – Terminator: Dark Fate, Captain America: Civil War
Lana Lan – Kong: Skull Island, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Woei Lee – Ad Astra, Blade Runner 2049
Bryan Litson – Top Gun: Maverick, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Scott Macintyre – Saint Maud, Fighting with My Family
Alexandre Julien Millet – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Beauty and the Beast
Marla Inez Newall – Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves, Black Widow
Jenni O’Byrne – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, The Irishman
Cristin Pescosolido – Master, Old
Frank Petzold – All Quiet on the Western Front, The Legend of Tarzan
Adriano Rinaldi – The Rescue, The Finest Hours
P.C. Sanath – 5 Rupees, Baahubali: The Beginning
Robert Winter – Moonfall, Army of the Dead
Florian Witzel – Avengers: Endgame, Doctor Strange

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