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Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson become new Academy members

Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson become new Academy members

Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson are among the 774 new members announced for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In what has become the largest-ever class of new members, in a bid to diversify the overwhelmingly white and male institution, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the names of the nearly 800 new industry professionals from 57 countries it has invited to join the nearly 90 year old organisation.

Film producer Mel Eslyn is among the new members, she told the Los Angeles Times: "I view the Academy invitation as a giant warm hug from my peers. Being part of the academy, to me, means inclusion, especially when looking at the diversity that's represented in this year's class."

The Academy Awards Class of 2017 is a major increase on the 322 invitees of the previous year and ranges from 19-year-old Elle Fanning to 95-year-old Betty White, plus iconic names of the industry such as Kristen Stewart, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins, who directed this year's best picture-winning 'Moonlight' to name but a few.

It's only the third year of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign that led the academy to take action to double the number of its female and minority members - with plans to increase it by 1,500 and 535 respectively by 2020.

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said: "We really are committed to making this an organization for international artists. There are so many artists in the world who we had overlooked in the past. So, lucky us, we get to make an effort to invite them in."

She previously said she is confident that there are still many qualified film industry professionals who have yet to be brought into the organisation.

She said: "There are so many artists who were not admitted in the past because we had a limit on how many new members we invited each year. So with the elimination of those [quotas] and the aggressive pursuit of excellence by all of our members, I think we will be able to expand in a more inclusive way for several years."

According to the Academy's figures, the new class is 39 per cent female (298 women), which brings the representation of women in the organization from 27 per cent to 28 per cent. Thirty percent (232) are people of colour, bringing minorities' share of total academy membership from 11 percent to 13 per cent.

Other names on the list include actors John Cho, Shailene Woodley, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans and Priyanka Chopra and directors Guy Ritchie, Jocelyn Moorhouse and Alejandro Jodorowsky.