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Academy needs to move beyond one award for all foreign films, says Priyanka Chopra

The actress was among 774 members across 57 countries inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences this year.

Shriram Iyengar

The induction of Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Aamir Khan, and Irrfan Khan into the roster of the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences was hailed as a positive step for Indian cinema on the global horizon. However, actress Priyanka Chopra believes the Academy will need to 'move beyond a single award for all foreign language films' if they truly want to accomplish the objective.

Speaking to the online magazine, Entertainment Weekly, the actress said, "It’s interesting that though [past Indian] winners were Indian, it was for their work in international films — largely about India, but not made by India. For a global community like India to be represented on a larger scale, I think it will have to move beyond a single award for all foreign language films."

While India has had quite a few films nominated for the Oscars from Mother India (1957) to Lagaan (2001), it was Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2008) that won the big Oscar. The film also earned statuettes for composer AR Rahman, lyricist Gulzar, and sound designer Resul Pookutty. Last year, Garth Davis' Lion, based on the story of Saroo Patel, received six nominations at the Oscars. However, both of these films were international productions based on stories in India.

The latest roster of 774 members is the largest induction drive by the Academy in recent years. For many in the global cinema community, this move is a sign of the Academy's growing attempts to diversify.

However, speaking about the changing racial diversity in the Academy, Chopra said, "While the numbers have their own story to tell, I think it’s important to recognise that progress is being made. It’s going to take some time to correct, but continuous efforts always help."

The actress, who made her Hollywood debut with the movie version of Baywatch earlier this year, said, "It is very rare to see foreign language films represented in the other categories. The class of 2017 does have a very diverse collection, including a few from my country, and one hopes that we all work together to push the larger picture. I’d like to see more opportunities for foreign films to be represented at the Oscars."

The Quantico actress added that she hoped to 'help change the way foreign language films are received and considered.'