Prolific South African casting director and talent agent, Moonyeen Lee, has been chosen to be a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known as The Oscars.
Academy membership is divided into different branches, with each representing a different discipline in film production. Actors constitute the largest voting bloc, numbering 1,311 members (22 percent) of the Academy's composition.
With 43 years experience in the South African film and TV industry, Lee is chosen as one of 683 new people selected to help diversify the Oscar voting pool. This comes after the criticism the Academy has received for being too white and out of touch with our modern society.
South Africans not in the film and television industry will remember Lee as one of the judges on the SABC1 acting talent search show Class Act.
She has worked on internationally acclaimed films such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Life Above All, Hotel Rwanda and Tsotsi.
In 1974 Moonyeenn Lee founded MLA from her living room which today is a leading Johannesburg based talent agency representing a remarkable list of actors in South Africa ranging from veterans like John Kani, Mary Twala, Joe Mafela, Connie Chuene and Robert Whitehead to soap stars such as Vuyo Dabula, Menzi Ngubane, Leleti Khumalo as well as stars like Maps Maponyane, Khanyi Dlomo, Lerato Mvelase, TK Dlamini, Pallance Dladla, Nomzamo Mbatha and Thabo Rametsi — just to name a few.