New Zealand teenage actress Keisha Castle-Hughes has been invited to join the prestigious Hollywood elite, as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The 14-year-old appears on a sparkling list of Hollywood talent, including Sean Penn, Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Coppola, asked to join the Academy this year.

Just 127 people, including actors, directors and film executives, received an invitation on the basis of their "remarkable" accomplishments, according to the Academy's website.

Members are able to vote for their preferred candidates in the annual Oscars ceremony.


Castle-Hughes starred in the Niki Caro-directed film adaptation of Witi Ihimaera's novel, Whale Rider, and was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award this year - the youngest ever nominee in that category.

She is now represented by a Hollywood agent and secured a role in George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy.