As the Oscars voting body continues to push to diversify, 17 Arab filmmakers have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. Across fields including documentary filmmaking, music and sound, and screenwriting, the new class will have voting privileges at this year’s Oscars.

The Academy announced Tuesday its invitation of 819 new members, of which 36% are people of colour, 45% women, and 49% international filmmakers representing 68 countries. The massive list comes as the Oscars continue to respond to renewed calls for increased diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, including a five-year plan implementing inclusion standards for nominations, AP reports.

These 17 filmmakers join existing Arab members, including Egyptian actress Yousra, Syrian director Talal Derki, Yemeni director Khadija Al-Salami, and Tunisian director Raja Amari, all of whom were invited last year.

The 2020 Arab additions to the Academy are: 


Mai Masri, Palestine’s first female director3000 Nights33 Days.

Documentary filmmakers

Malek Bensmaïl, The Battle of Algiers, a Film within History, La Chine Est Encore Loin (Algeria)

Ali Essafi, Sheikhates Blues, Général, Nous Voilà! (Morocco)

Salem Brahimi, Abd El-Kader, Africa Is Back (Algeria)

Tala Hadid,The Narrow Frame of MidnightHouse in the Fields (London-born of Moroccan-Iraqi descent)

Hajooj Kuka, Live from Mogadishu, Beats of the Antonov (Sudan)

Rima Mismar, currently director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Lebanon)

Miranda Youssef, Misconception, Troubadours


Tarak Ben Ammar, Tunisia


Khaled Mouzanar, Capernaum, Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon)


Toufik Ayadi, Les Miserables (2019), Towards Tenderness (France)

Short Films and Feature Animation

Mounia Akl, Submarine - A short film by Mounia Akl, Eva (Lebanon)

Meryam Joobeur, Brotherhood, Born in the Maelstrom (Tunisia, Canada)

Damien Megherbi Nefta Football Club, Wicked Girl (France)

Ahmad Saleh, Ayny - My Second Eye, Maa Baa (Saudi Arabia, Germany)


Rana Eid, You Will Die at 20, Ismaii (Lebanon)


Najwa Najjar, Between Heaven and Earth, Eyes of a Thief (Palestine, Jordan)