Three Taiwanese offered membership in U.S. film Academy

Screenwriter Wang Hui-ling (left) and art director Hwarng Wern-ying.

Screenwriter Wang Hui-ling (left) and art director Hwarng Wern-ying. (CNA photo)

Three professionals from Taiwan's film industry have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the group that hands out the Oscars.

The Academy's invitation list that was released Monday included Taiwanese actress-director Sylvia Chang, screenwriter Wang Hui-ling, and art director Hwarng Wern-ying.

Hwarng was listed in the "designers" category for "Silence," a historical drama directed by Martin Scorsese, and "Three Times," a film produced by her and directed by renowned Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Chang has been invited to become a new member in the "actors" category, cited for "Love Education" and "20 30 40."

Wang was named in the "writers" category, with "Fleeing by Night," and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," a film directed by two-time Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee, listed against her name.

This year, the AMPAS has issued 928 invitations to artists and executives who have made distinguished contributions to theatrical motion pictures in several categories.

Those who accept the invitations will become new members of the Academy in autumn, the organization said.

There has been a lot of criticism recently that the Oscars have favored white male crews and actors over the years.

In 2016, the Academy's 6,241 voting members were approximately 92 percent white and 75 percent male. Therefore, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who was then the Academy president, said the group would double its number of women and diverse members by 2020.

The AMPAS said that among the 928 invitees from 59 countries this year, 49 percent are female and 38 percent are people of color.

There are no judges for the Academy Awards, but rather the winners are chosen democratically by the AMPAS' 7,000-plus members in 17 branches. (By Edward Tsao and Evelyn Kao)