AMPAS Commitment to Diversity is Reflected in List of New Members

AMPAS Invites 683 To Become Members; 71 of Which Are Latino

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the body of members which nominate and select the Oscar winners has set a record by inviting 683 to join the Academy, in a seemingly direct response by AMPAS to bring diversiity to their membership after two straight years of being labeled #OscarsSoWhite.  Many point to the lack of diversity in the voting AMPAS membership as the reason for the lack of nominations of persons of color.  But yesterday Wednesday, June 30th AMPAS took a major step in addressing diversity; hoping there will be no repeat of the #OscarSoWhite social media uproar.

This past January, the leadership of AMPAS stated that their goal moving forward was to “double the number of diverse members” in the organization by 2020, meaning women and people of color.  Out of the new member invitees for 2016, 46% are female and 41% are people of color, with Latinos making up a bit over 10% of the list, a record breaking 71 Latinos were invited to join. Should all the 2016 Academy invitees elect to join, it will mark the beginning of the shift AMPAS is seemingly committed to make within its ranks.

The INvitees

Among the artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures are seventeen Latino actors; fourteen directors and four writers among the other creatives.  Invited to join are actors with an international profile like America Ferrera (Cesar Chavez, End of Watch), Oscar Issac (Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year), Luis Guzman (Punch Drunk Love, Carlito’s Way) and Eva Mendes (A Place Beyond the Pines, Hitch).  Additionally, actors whose work in the industry is well known and who have paid their dues in this industry, include:  Pepe Serna (The Black Dahlia, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez), Enrique Castillo (Weeds, Deja Vu, Bound by Honor) and Mexican actor Ignacio Lopez Tarso (Under the Volcano, Nazsarin).  In the director category the selection ranges from fairly new director Patricia Riggen (The 33, Girl in Progress) and long time directors Victor Nunez (Spoken Word, Ulee’s Gold) and Luis Valdez (La Bamba, Zoot Suit).

For some, the petition to join AMPAS was not a first.  “Danny De La Paz (Boulevard Nights) and I had been sponsored some years ago but were told by the academy that our work was not up to the standards of the academy,” Castillo recounted of his effort to join the AMPAS over a decade ago.  “This in view of others in the academy at the time that didn’t have half the resume we did.”

What made the difference this time around? AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson have been publicly vocal about their efforts to diversify the organization after social media hastag #OscarSoWhite first brought attention to the lack of diversity in 2015.  The following year the number of invitations increased to 322 when in the past is was in the 200 number. This year the invitations more than doubled last years efforts at a record breaking 683.

Alma MartinezIn addition, according to Castillo, “If it hadn’t been for [actress] Alma Martinez being persistent and encouraging I wouldn’t have gone along. She deserves a lot of the credit. And my thanks to my good friend and great actor Rudy Ramos for his sponsorship and to his good friend and great fellow actor Steve Railsback for his second sponsorship. All three a real class act.”  Having friends supporting you can never be underrated.

Although, Martinez encouraged persons to apply, she had one endorsement she could use and she sponsored actress Julie Carmen.  “Alma Martinez was allowed to nominate one person and I was very, very touched that she called me,” Carmen told us.  James Victor, who passed away last week and who was her cast mate in the ABC  sitcom Condo was her second sponsor. “I’m really sad he’s not here to see the big change in the Academy,” Carmen lamented.   Daniel Stern and Louis Gossett Jr. each wrote supportive letters on he behalf.
Although AMPAS has a ways to go to meet their 2020 goal for diversifying their membership, it can truly be said that they took a major step in reaching their goal with this announcement.  Time will tell if the diversity move will translate onto a more nominations for people of color and females.

Below is a list of the 71 Latinos invited to join AMPAS.  For a full list CLICK HERE


Julie CarmenThe Milagro Beanfield War, Gloria
Enrique CastilloDéjà Vu, Bound by Honor 
America FerreraCesar Chavez, End of Watch
Luis GuzmánPunch-Drunk Love, Carlito’s Way
Oscar IsaacEx Machina, A Most Violent Year
Sal LopezThe Astronaut Farmer, Full Metal Jacket
Ignacio López TarsoUnder the Volcano, Nazarin
Eva MendesThe Place beyond the Pines, Hitch
Marisa ParedesThe Skin I Live In, All about My Mother
Jorge PerugorríaChe, Strawberry and Chocolate
Silvia PinalVintage Model, The Exterminating Angel
Michelle RodriguezAvatar, Girlfight
Cecilia RothLucia Lucia, All about My Mother
Pepe SernaThe Black Dahlia, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

Tessa ThompsonCreed, For Colored Girls
Jacob VargasThe 33, Jarhead
Daphne ZunigaStaying Together, Spaceballs


Bárbara AlvarezThe Second Mother, Whisky

Lula CarvalhoTeenage Mutan Ninja, Robocop

Enrique ChediakThe 5th Wave, The Maze Runner

Felix MontiOur Last Tango, The Secret in Their Eyes


Juan Antonio Garcia BayonaThe Impossible, The Orphanage

Israel CárdenasSand Dollars, Carmita
Carlos CarreraBackyard, El Crimen del Padre Amaro

Isabel CoixetLearning to Drive, Elegy
Nicole GarciaA View of Love, Charlie Says
Ciro GuerraEmbrace of the Serpent, The Wind Journeys
Laura Amelia GuzmánSand Dollars, Carmita

Lucrecia MartelLa Cienega, The Headless Woman

Ana MuylaertSmoke Gets In Your Eyes, The Second Mother
María NovaroThe Good Herbs, Lola
Victor NunezSpoken Word, Ulee’s Gold
Lucía PuenzoThe German Doctor, El Niño Pez
Patricia RiggenThe 33, Girl in Progress
Luis ValdezLa Bamba, Zoot Suit

 Costume Design

Sonia GrandeMidnight in Paris, Julieta


Pilar Revuelta – Pan’s Labyrinth, The Impossible


Ramona S. DiazDon’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, Imelda


James F. Lopez

Film Editors

Raúl Antonio DávalosThe Amateurs, Meet Wally Sparks

Affonso Gonçalves –  Winter’s Bone, Beast of the Southern Wild

Pedro KosThe Crash Deal, Frida

Bernat VilaplanaCrimson’s Peak, Pan’s Labyrinth


Beatrice De AlbaAway We Go, Frida


Germaine FrancoDope, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Fernando VelázquezCrimson Peak, Mama


Esther García RodríguezWild Tales, The Skin I Live In

Rodrigo TeixeiraThe Witch, Mistress America

Public Relations

Linda Guerrero

Casting Directors

Sara BilbatuaPan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone

Carmen CubaThe Martian, Side Effects

Walter RippelEveryone Has a Plan, The Secret in Their Eyes

Manuel Teil Babel, Y tu Mama Tambien

Short Film and Feature Animations

Pato EscalaThe Bear

Jorge R. GutierrezThe Book of Life, Carmelo
Jon W.S. HuertasThe Box, Lone
Linda Campos OlszewskiCar-Ma’, A Bad Hair Day
Gabriel OsorioBear Story, Residuos
Pablo ValleHow to Train Your Dragon 2, Turbo


Roberto FernandezSt. Vincent, Drive
George LaraChi-Raq, Spotlight
Lisa PineroSteve Jobs, Fury

Visual Effects

Adam ValdezMaleficent, World War Z


Vera Blasi  Emperor, Women on Top

Ciro Guerra  Embrace of the Serpent, The Wind Journeys

Carlos Reygadas  Silent Light, Post Tenbras Lux

Sebastien Lilio  La Sagrada Famila, Gloria

Members At Large

Ana Maria Quintana


Emanuel Nunez
Joanelle Romero
Warren Zavala

The Academy and the ABC Television Network today announced key dates for the 89th Oscars®.  The Academy Awards® presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, February 26, 2017.

Academy key dates for the 2016 Awards season are:

Saturday, November 12, 2016                    Governors Awards
Thursday, January 5, 2017                          Nominations voting opens
Friday, January 13, 2017                             Nominations voting closes
Tuesday, January 24, 2017                        Oscar Nominations Announcement
Monday, February 6, 2017                          Oscar Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2017                      Scientific and Technical Awards
Monday, February 13, 2017                        Finals voting opens
Tuesday, February 21, 2017                       Finals voting closes
Oscar Sunday, February 26, 2017             89th Academy Awards

The Academy and the ABC Television Network announced the 89th Oscar® presentations will air live on ABC on Oscar Sunday, February 26, 2017, to be held at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.  The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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