Jacki Weaver invited to join Academy

Jacki Weaver in a scene from  Animal Kingdom . Photo / Supplied
Jacki Weaver in a scene from Animal Kingdom . Photo / Supplied

Veteran Australian actress Jacki Weaver and new sensation Mia Wasikowska are among an elite group invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which decides the Oscars each year, announced on Friday it had extended invitations to 178 artists and executives "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures".

Weaver, 64, scored the first Oscar nomination of her long career this year for her chilling performance in the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom.

Canberra-born 21-year-old Wasikowska has become Hollywood's new darling, starring in a mix of critically-acclaimed films and blockbusters including Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right.

The other Australians extended invitations to join the Academy won Oscars this year.

They are short animated filmmaker Shaun Tan and producer of The King's Speech, Emile Sherman.

Other notable invitees this year include British comedian Russell Brand, Scottish actor Gerard Butler and Hangover star Bradley Cooper.

In an unprecedented gesture, the list of new members includes documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington, who was killed in action in Libya in April.

Hetherington had been a 2010 nominee for his film Restrepo.

"These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Academy President Tom Sherak.

"Their talent and creativity have entertained moviegoers around the world, and I welcome each of them to our ranks."

New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception in September.

The Academy has just under 6000 members.

-AAP

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