March 27, 2023

Diana Cheng
Asian American Press

CALGARY (July 2, 2016) — To counteract the #OscarSoWhite criticism trending since the 88th Academy Awards nominations back in January this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had recently sent out a record 683 new membership invitations, a list made up of 46 percent women and 41 percent people of color.

A knee jerk reaction or a long due recognition of some worthy film artists? The ripple effects are still reverberating. I for one welcome such an inclusion. While there are some whose limited credits may not warrant such an honor, at least, not yet, there are many Asian invitees worthy of the honor. Many of them have been acclaimed in international film festival circuits for years.

Will they all accept their invites? That’s anther matter. For now, such a change of stance from the Academy needs to be applauded. Here are some of the Asian invitees in the film industry in this latest door opener:


James Hong
James Hong

Byung-Hun Lee (Korea) – “Terminator Genisys,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”

James Hong (Chinese American) – “Blade Runner”, “Kung Fu Panda”

Tatsuya Nakadai (Japan) – “Ran,” “Kagemusha”

Freida Pinto (India) – “Immortals,” “Slumdog Millionaire”

Elizabeth Sung (Chinese American) – “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “The Joy Luck Club”

Sharmila Tagore (India) – “Dhadkan,” “The World of Apu”


Peter Pau (Hong Kong) – “The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”

Poon Hang-Sang (Hong Kong) – “Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster,” “Kung Fu Hustle” 

Nelson Yu Lik-Wai (Hong Kong) – “A Simple Life,” “24 City”

Zhao Fei (China) – “The Sun Also Rises,” “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”



Yoshihito Akatsuka (Japan) – “The Left Ear,” “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale”

Sue Chan (Chinese American) – “Gone Girl,” “300: Rise of an Empire”


Naji Abu Nowar (Jordan) – “Theeb”

Haifaa al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia) – “Wadjda”

Ana Lily Amirpour (Iranian American) – “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”

Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Turkish) – “Mustang”

Hou Hsiao-Hsien (Taiwan) – “The Assassin,” “Three Times”

Abbas Kiarostami (Iran) – “Certified Copy,” “Taste of Cherry”

So Yong Kim (Korean American) – “For Ellen,” “In Between Days”

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan) – “Seventh Code,” “Pulse”

Deepa Mehta (Indian Canadian) – “Midnight’s Children,” “Water”

Park Chan-wook (Korea) – “Stoker,” “Oldboy” 

James Wan (Malaysian Australian) – “The Conjuring,” “Saw”

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand)– “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” “Tropical Malady” 



Kazuo Hara (Japan) – “A Dedicated Life,” “The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On” 

Anita Lee (Chinese Canadian) – “Stories We Tell,” “Everybody’s Children”

Trinh T. Minh-ha (Vietnamese American) – “Forgetting Vietnam,” “Surname Viet Given Name Nam”

Wang Bing (China) – “Three Sisters,” “West of the Tracks”


David Henry Hwang (Chinese American) – “Possession,” “Golden Gate”

Jia Zhangke (China) – “Mountains May Depart,” “Still Life” 

Naomi Kawase (Japan) – “Still the Water,” “Firefly”

Takeshi Kitano (Japan) – “Outrage,” “Kikujiro”

Hirokazu Koreeda (Japan) – “Like Father, Like Son,” “Nobody Knows”

Lee Chang-dong (Korea) – “Poetry,” “Oasis” 

Park Chan-wook (Korea) – “Thirst,” “Oldboy”

Diana Cheng AAP film reviewer
Diana Cheng
AAP film reviewer

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood. It will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Contact Diana Cheng on Twitter @Arti_Ripples or through her blog Ripple Effects,

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