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The Academy Awards 2018 is still several months away but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has already released the updated list of its members. Advocating for diversity, the organization added more people of color.

Asia is well represented in the Academy Class of 2017. Here are 13 among many Asians included as new voting members of the Oscars: 

1. Brillante Mendoza
Born in Pampanga, Philippines, Mendoza is one of the most awarded Asian directors of today. His most recent film “Ma’ Rosa” made Jaclyn Jose the first Southeast Asian winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Actress award.

2. Lav Diaz
Born in Cotabato, Philippines, Diaz is known for his award-winning films that are lengthy and black and white. His most recent film “Ang Babaeng Humayo” (The Woman Who Left), which is 228-minute long, won the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

3. Fan Bingbing
Born in Qingdao, China, Fan is one of the highest paid actresses in the world. In Hollywood, she is known for her role as Blink in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

4. Donnie Yen
Born in Guangzhuo, China, Yen is one of the highest paid actors in Asia. The actor-martial artist is known for playing the title role in the “Ip Man” action films.

5. B.D. Wong
Wong’s family is from Hong Kong but he was born and raised in San Francisco, California. On the small screen, he is known for his role as Professor Hugo Strange in “Gotham.”

6. John Cho
Cho was born in Seoul, Korea but was raised in Los Angeles, California. He played Hikaru Sulu in “Star Trek Beyond.”

7. Ming-Na Wen
Wen was born in Coloane, Macau and lived briefly in Hong Kong as a child before her family moved to Harlem, New York. Her most famous TV role is Melinda May in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

8. Maggie Cheung
Cheung was raised both in Hong Kong, where she was born, and in England. Her role in the 2004 drama film “Clean” made her the first Asian actress to win Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival.

9. Aamir Khan
Born in Mumbai, India, Khan made his acting debut in “Yaadon Ki Baaraat” in 1973. He is considered one of the most influential actors of Indian cinema.

10. Deepika Padukone
Padukone was born in Copenhagen, Denmark but was raised in Bangalore, India. The Bollywood actress made her Hollywood debut in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.”

11. Priyanka Chopra
Born in Jharkhand, India, Chopra won Miss World 2000. She has been playing the lead character Alex Parish in “Quantico” since 2015.

12. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Bachchan was born in Karnataka, India. After winning Miss World 1994, she became a Bollywood star and starred in “The Mistress of Spices” opposite Dylan McDermott in 2005.

13. Gal Gadot
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Born in Petah, Tikvah, Israel, Gadot was Miss Israel 2004 before becoming a Hollywood star. After playing Gisele in “Fast and Furious” films, she played the title role in “Wonder Woman.”


In total, the AMPAS currently has more than 8,000 voting members. Among them are the newly invited 774 new members.

“We are not looking to grow the organization,” outgoing AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “We are looking to have our organization more representative of men and women, here and around the world who are participating in the art form.”


The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, on March 4, 2018. It will be hosted for the second time by Jimmy Kimmel.
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