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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences appoints Kwon-taek Im, Joon-ho Bong, Min-sik Choi, Kang-ho Song, and Sang-jin Kim as its first Korean members / Graduate Sang-jin Kim (Class of 1978, Department of Economics) For the first time in its 88 years of history, the Academy Awards appoints Korean members in its panel.

The “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, hereinafter called ‘Academy’)” supervises the Academy Awards and grants the best film award in the U.S.A. For the first time in its 88 years of history, the Academy accepted Korean film veterans in its panel. On June 26th, the Academy appointed 322 new members including five Korean film veterans namely film directors Kwon-taek Im and Joon-ho Bong; actors Min-sik Choi and Kang-ho Song; and chief Disney animator Sang-jin Kim. 

The Academy member system was established in 1927 and the members are authorized to vote for the films and actors/actresses that are nominated in the Academy Awards. The Academy evaluates two representative films of the new members: for Director Im, ‘Chihwaseon (2002)’ and ‘Chunhyang (1999)’; ‘Snowpiercer (2013)’ and ‘Mother (2009)’ for Director Bong; ‘Old Boy (2003)’ and ‘Lucy (2014)’ for Min-sik Choi; ‘Snowpiercer (2013)’ and ‘The Host (2006)’ for Kang-ho Song; and ‘Big Hero 6 (2014)’ and ‘Bolt (2008)’ for chief Disney animator o Sang-jin Kim.

The Academy has about 6,000 members and it appoints about 100 new members every year. It increased the number of its members from 271 people last year to 322 people this year. A Hollywood reporter said that this measure was taken to raise the Academy’s global status by considering gender, race, and regional diversity in the Academy films, the majority of which are currently focused on white male actors. 

Included in the list of this year’s new Academy members are: Emma Stone, who acted in the film ‘Birdman (2014)’; Eddie Redmayne, who received the Best Actor in the Academy Awards for his role of Stephen Hawking in the film ‘The Theory of Everything (2014)’; Daniel Radcliffe, the hero of the Harry Potter series; and Tom Hardy, from the film ‘Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)’. To be an Academy member, the Academy screens those who are recommended by majority of current members.

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