AMPAS probably means nothing to you, right? Unless you're a complete film nerd, there's a good chance you're not even sure what it stands for, right?
AMPAS stands for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and is the governing body for the Academy Awards. In other words, they're the people responsible for the Oscars and their members - which are drawn from the brightest and best that the film industry has to offer - are responsible for voting in the Oscars.
This year, AMPAS announced a record 774 new members to join their ranks and vote in next year's Oscars. Of the 774, 39% were female, 30% people of colour and represents the most diverse group added to AMPAS since its inception. For Ireland, three of our most well-known actors have joined the ranks. Ruth Negga, Ciaran Hinds and Domhnall Gleeson have all been inducted as members and will now be able to vote in the Academy Awards this coming year.
To get into AMPAS is no easy feat. Oscar nominees are automatically considered, but an invite isn't immediately given to them. In the basic terms possible, a candidate has to demonstrate "exceptional achievement in the field of theatrical motion pictures," whether it be acting, sound, directing, public relations - anything at all.
Considering the careers of Negga, Hinds and Gleeson, they're far and away (heh) qualified to join.