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What Golden Horse winner Anthony Chen thinks of Oscars membership invite

The Singapore director is among 398 who have been offered membership by the Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Singapore director Anthony Chen is among the 398 who have been offered membership by the Oscars body. (Photo: Getty Images)
Singapore director Anthony Chen is among the 398 who have been offered membership by the Oscars body. (Photo: Getty Images)

His films Ilo Ilo and Wet Season have garnered much buzz and snagged trophies at the Golden Horse (traditionally seen as the Asia equivalent of the Oscars).

So, getting an invite to join the prestigious Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be a blessing for local director Anthony Chen, right?

For the uninitiated, the Academy is known globally for their annual Academy Awards, or The Oscars, if you will.

Well, it is indeed an honour for Chen, who shared the news on Instagram on Thursday (29 June).

He wrote, “Woke up to this! Honoured to be in such fine company. Thank you #TheAcademy”

However, the 39-year-old also told 8days in an article published on Friday that he found the invite to be “so random”.

He said, “I only found out in the email yesterday morning. I didn’t apply for it. It’s so random.”

According to the Academy rules, the membership process is by sponsorship, not application.

Candidates must be sponsored by two Academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission.

Additionally, Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership and do not require sponsors.

However, Chen admitted to 8days that he didn't know who his sponsors were.

Chen is among the 398 who have been offered membership by the Academy. Other notable invitees include singer Taylor Swift, Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, Oscar nominee Austin Butler and Everything Everywhere All at Once directors The Daniels.

His award-winning films Ilo Ilo (2013) and Wet Season (2019) were selected to represent Singapore in the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category, but unfortunately, didn’t make the final list of nominees.

However, those films arguably launched his frequent collaborator, Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, to stardom when she won Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress respectively at the Golden Horse awards.

Yeo is starring in Disney+’s American Born Chinese, opposite Oscar winners Michelle Yeoh and Ke.

She is also slated to appear in the Netflix thriller Havoc alongside British actor Tom Hardy.

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