After years of criticism due to its lack of diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), USA has offered membership to more than 800 film professionals across 68 countries in order to have a more diverse representation amongst its ranks.

NBC News

Among the new invitees, for the Academy, popularly known as ‘Oscars’, are three Indian film professionals, alumni of Jamia Milia Islamia- documentary filmmakers Nishtha Jain, Shirley Abraham and Amit Mahadesiya. 


Nishtha Jain’s Gulab Gang has also won the National Award for the Best Film on Social Issues in 2014. Her filmography also includes the City of Photos (2004), Lakshmi and Me (2007), At my Doorstep (2009), Family Album (2011). 

India Today

According to India Today,  she has also won 25 international and national film awards. She is also the recipient fellowships that include the Global Media maker Award (2019) and the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship to teach and research at the University of Texas (Austin) during 2019.

Shirley Abraham and Amit Mahadesiya’s debut documentary Cinema Travelers has premiered as an official selection at Cannes Film festival. 


The documentary has also been premiered at the Toronto, and New York Film Festival and winning 19 awards including the Presidents Gold Medal in India.

Upon getting the news about being invited to the Academy, Abraham expressed her elation on Twitter. 

Twitter has also been congratulating the three filmmakers for getting invited to The Academy. 

In 2019, Abraham and Mahadesiya had made the short documentary titled The Hour of the Lynching about a case of Muslims being lynched by cow vigilantes. The film can be streamed on The Guardian news website.