The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced last Friday that it has invited 276 digital media professionals into the organization, including a considerable number of Latino artists such as Chilean directors Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light; Battle of Chile), Pablo Larraín (pictured left, Post Mortem; No) and Brazilian documentary filmmaker Eduardo Coutinho (Songs; Playing; Twenty Years Later).
According to the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, Guzmán received the news in Santiago where he was attending the Fidocs Film Festival, and he originally thought the news was a hoax.
Most of this year's invitees are cinematographers, make-up artists, documentarians and sound designers. The list of Latino invitees also includes actors Michael Peña (End of Watch), Danny Trejo (Machete), Miriam Colon (Bless Me Ultima), Geno Silva (Scarface), Rosario Dawson (Frank Miller's Sin City), Jennifer Lopez (Selena), and Alma Martinez (Born in East LA).
Other Latino invitees include Peruvian DP Checco Varese (Girl in Progress; El Aura) and Mexican sound editor Jose Antonio Garcia, who has worked on worked on widely distributed films like Babel, Y Tu Mamá También, and more recently Argo.
Invitees almost always unanimously join the organization and although some are invited to join several branches, they must choose only one. Although this year shows a rise in minority invitees, Latinos continue to make up fewer than 2% of the Academy.