Four Australians and three Kiwis have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A record 322 screen practitioners from the US and around the world have been invited to join the organisation. The previous high was 276 in 2013.

The Down Under contingent comprises visual effects wizards Tim Crosbie and Daniel Barrett, producers Bruna Papandrea and Rebecca Yeldham, sound mixers David Lee and Jason Canovas and writer-director Niki Caro.

Despite the Academy’s efforts to diversify its membership, out of the 25 actors invited to join only seven are women.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said, “It’s gratifying to acknowledge the extraordinary range of talent in our industry. This year, our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization.”

This year Crosbie was nominated for an Oscar for best achievement in visual effects for X-Men: Days of Future Past, shared with his colleagues Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora and Cameron Waldbauer.

Kiwi Barrett was animation supervisor on Fast & Furious 7, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (he was Oscar-nominated for both), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Man of Steel and Avatar.

Papandrea produced Better than Sex before she moved to Los Angeles and formed production company Pacific Standard with Reese Witherspoon. Her credits as producer or EP include Milk, Gone Girl, Wild and Warm Bodies.

Yeldham exec produced The Motorcyle Diaries and produced The Kite Runner and On the Road. Her latest production is The Gift, a thriller about a young couple's lives which are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband's past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years, starring, written and directed by Joel Edgerton.

Lee's credits include Unbroken, Goddess, Tomorrow, When the War Began and Mao's Last Dancer.

Canovas' credits include The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for sound editing, shared with Brent Burge, the first two editions of The Hobbit, and, as dialogue editor, World War Z, The Iron Lady and The Adventures of Tin Tin.   

Caro directed Whale Rider, North Country and The Vintner's Luck. Her latest work is McFarland, USA, a sports drama headlining Kevin Costner and Maria Bello.

She is in pre-production on Callas, a biopic centred around the relationship between the legendary opera singer Maria Callas (Noomi Rapace) and Aristotle Onassis.

Among the directors invited are Jason Lin, James Gunn, Simon Curtis, François Ozon, PaweÅ‚ Pawlikowski, Fernando Trueba, Morten Tyldum, Edgar Wright, Joe Wright and Andrey Zvyagintsev.

The acting cadre includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Martin Freeman, Tom Hardy, Felicity Jones, Jason Segel, J.K. Simmons, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Dev Patel, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne.

Another fitting addition to Academy membership is Kevin Brownlow, the film historian and documentarian who spearheaded the restoration of dozens of classics including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Thief of Bagdad, Ben-Hur and Abel Gance's Napoleon.


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