Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović and Vanja Černjul invited to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, announced on Monday that it has forwarded membership invitations to 842 new members from 59 countries, among which are directors Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović and director of photography Vanja Černjul.  

Once annually, the Board of Governors of the Academy proposes new members, and along with achievements within the film industry, a future member may be approved by the executive committee of a specific branch of the Academy, among which are actors, directors, cinematography, costume designers, documentary and many others. 

Up until 2016, membership in the Academy was permanent and was not revoked even for those who were inactive in the film industry for years. However, since January 2016 a new rule was introduced whereby members who were inactive for ten years lost voting rights. This rule was introduced to bring diversity to the Academy after criticism that older men, mostly white men, were an obstacle to racial and gender equality among winners and those nominated for the Oscars.

You can find the list of all invited members here

Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović was born in 1985 in Dubrovnik. She holds a MFA in directing from Columbia University in New York.  She is the first Croatian to be accepted into the Cannes residence Cinéfondation where she worked for a couple of months developing her first feature-length film Murina. The film is being co-financed and co-produced by the production company Sikelia Prods of Martin Scorsese and RT Features of Rodrigo Teixeira. Alamat Kusijanović is the director of the short feature film Into the Blue that was nominated for the student award of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

Vanja Černjul graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Art University in Zagreb, after which he departed for the USA in 1996. He is known for his work on popular American television series Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, Orange Is the New Black, Marco Polo and The Deuce, also the films Wristcutters: A Love Story, City Island, The English Teacher and Crazy Rich Asians. For his work in the series 30 Rock and Nurse Jackie, he was nominated for an Emmy in the category Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), while thanks to his work in the episode Marco Polo ‘Fourth Step’ he also won an award from the American Society of Cinematographers for best director of photography in the television series category. Černjul was also the cinematographer in the Croatian films Mother of Asphalt, Handymen and Daddy, which was directed by Dalibor Matanić, and for the latter he won the Golden Arena for Best Cinematography at the Pula Film Festival in 2011. 

Rade Šerbedžija was also invited to become a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2017. Oscar recipients, producer Branko Lustig and professor Krešimir Mikić are already members, while Nedjeljko Dragić, director of animated films also received such an invitation. Dušan Vukotić, whose animated film The Substitute won an Oscar in 1962 was also a member.  

The next Oscars will be held on 9 February 2020. 
(*part of the text taken from Hina)

Cover photo: Vanja Černjul (left), Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (right)

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