The Oscars Make Inclusion A Requirement For Best Picture Consideration
In a bid to encourage greater diversity within the film industry, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be introducing an inclusion requirement for Best Picture consideration at the Oscars.
This requirement will be implemented in 2024, from the 96th Oscars onwards. Films that hope to qualify for Best Picture will have to first meet inclusion standards designed to bring about greater diversity both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
In order to be eligible, a movie must meet two out of four standards of representation: Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives; Creative Leadership and Project Team, Industry Access and Opportunities; and Audience Development.
These categories will each include various criteria involving the inclusion of those from under-represented groups.
This includes women, people of colour, those from the LGBTQ+ community and individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities.
Other award categories will not be held to these same standards, however contenders for Best Picture do generally get nominated in other feature-length categories.
The Academy is implementing these new requirements with the to encourage ‘equitable representation on and off screen’, reflecting ‘the diversity of the movie-going audience’.
In a statement, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said:
While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board.
The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend – and continue to examine – our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.
Academy President David Rubin said:
Through the dedication, focus, and concerted effort of our Board of Governors and members on the branch executive committees, the Academy has surpassed the goals of our A2020 initiative.
But to truly meet this moment, we must recognize how much more needs to be done, and we must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable.
Academy leadership and our Board are committed to ensuring that we continue to weave equity and inclusion into the fabric of every Academy initiative, committee, program and event.
Previously, films hoping to be in with a chance at a Best Picture nomination only had to consider the running time – which needs to be more than 40 minutes long – as well as specifics about how the film is screened.
The Academy, which has previously been criticised for lack of diversity, recently invited 819 new members to vote at the 2020 Oscars, as reported by BBC News.
Out of these new members, 45% were women and 36% were non-white. The Academy now says it has doubled the number of female members and tripled the amount of individuals from under-represented ethnic and racial backgrounds.
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