National award-winning sound designer Debajit Changmai is among the 20 Indian film personalities invited this year to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that organises the annual Oscar awards.
Hailing from Sivasagar, Changmai, whose credits include ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘Raazi’, ‘Haider’ and ‘Court’, added that the move will amplify Indian cinema across the world. “For me, this is not about the Oscars,” Changmai said. “I’m counting this as recognition of our films and our work. I come from Assam and never dreamed of coming this far – where my work is recognised by outsiders. Genuinely happy and honoured. I see this as a chance to see other people’s work and perhaps, that’ll help me grow as a technician.”
A record-setting 928 members from across the globe have been asked to swell the ranks of an organisation that has been criticised in recent years for being overwhelmingly white and male. In 2016, the Academy set up a diversity committee and fixed a goal to widen its membership by 2020. The Indian film personalities, invited as members in this committee include the Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty, Shah Rukh Khan, Aditya Chopra, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Naseeruddin Shah, among others.