EXCLUSIVE: The long-overdue broadening of the Academy membership’s diversity covered every branch, but none reshaped its membership as strongly as did the Directors Branch. The executive committee, chaired by Michael Mann and also headed by Kathryn Bigelow and Ed Zwick, made real strides, according to a memo Deadline got hold of that was sent to Directors Branch members today.
The Directors Branch invited the highest percentage of women and minorities into its fold of any branch and the most new members, with 92. You look at the list of new voting members and see Melvin Van Peebles, and the initial reaction is, wait, this pioneering indie director wasn’t made a member years ago? The memo notes exactly that sentiment — it also chastises itself for excluding Margarethe von Trotta and Ken Loach — but this document expresses a clear commitment to forward progress from the committee led by Mann, Bigelow and Zwick, and a committee that ranged from Ben Affleck to Darren Aronofsky, Lee Daniels, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Catherine Hardwicke, Reginald Hudlin, John Singleton, Alexander Payne, Brett Ratner, Jay Roach and Betty Thomas.
Here is the memorandum sent to members, with a full breakdown and new list of filmmaker members: