Two Irish actors have been invited to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which awards the Oscars each year.

Michael Fassbender and Cillian Murphy are among the 20 actors named this year by the Academy as individuals who have "distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures."

In total 271 invitations have been issued this year to actors, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors and other production professionals involved in all elements of the movie business.

To be officialy added to the Academy membership of over 6,000, those named today must formally accept the invitations.

The works of note cited for the invitations to the two Irish actors are '12 Years a Slave' and 'Shame' for Michael Fassbender, and 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'Inception' for Cillian Murphy.

Announcing the invitations today, the President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the invitees "represented some of the most talented, creative and passionate film-makers" whose "contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world."

Others invited to become members this year include Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Macdonald, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock, Steve Coogan, Jean-Marc Vallee, Thomas Vinterberg, Pharrell Williams, Eddie Vedder and Hayaoo Miyazaki.

The full list can be viewed here