The Academy Awards has announced films hoping to qualify for Best Picture consideration will have to meet new representation and inclusion standards going forwards.
Starting from 2024, each film nominated for the category will have to meet at least two out of the four standards in order to pass the inclusion threshold, according to Variety.
Before that, in 2022 and 2023, each film applying for consideration will have to submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form.
The changes only apply to the Best Picture category, with the inclusion standards for every other category staying as they are.
In a joint statement, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said, “The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality.”
The four standards relate to ‘on-screen representation, themes and narratives’, ‘creative leadership and project team’, ‘industry access and opportunities’ and ‘audience development’.
In the first standard, a film must either include at least one lead or significant supporting actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, ensure that at least 30 per cent of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two underrepresented groups (including women, LGBTQ+ and disabled people) or have a main storyline, theme or narrative that is centred on an underrepresented group.
In the second standard, either at least two creative leadership positions and department heads must be from underrepresented groups, at least six other crew positions (excluding Production Assistants) must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group or at least 30 per cent of the film’s crew must be from underrepresented groups.
In the third, either the film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships from underrepresented groups, or the film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from underrepresented groups.
And in the final standard, the studio and/or film company must have multiple in-house senior executives from underrepresented groups.
Next year’s Oscars – for which the new standards don’t yet apply – will take place on April 25th 2021, slightly later than usual due to a delay caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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