The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced new representation and inclusion standards regarding a movie’s nominee eligibility for Best Picture at the Oscars.
On Tuesday, September 9, the new standards were released as part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative. In a released statement, the Academy wrote that these requirements were “designed to encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”
Under these standards, the Academy established four broad representation categories: on screen; among the crew; at the studio; and in opportunities for training and advancement in other aspects of the film’s development and release. A movie must meet two of the four in order to be considered for Best Picture.
Change starts now. We've announced new representation and inclusion standards for Best Picture eligibility, beginning with the 96th #Oscars. Read more here: https://t.co/qdxtlZIVKb pic.twitter.com/hR6c2jb5LM
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) September 9, 2020
President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement, “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
After years of criticism over a lack of diversity among the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ members as well as the Oscar nominees and winners, these changes are being brought into effect to ensure further visibility and inclusivity. Within these categories, a movie will be required to feature an actor from an underrepresented group or deal with themes reflecting on diversity.
These latest Oscar standards for Best Picture nominees are seeking to ensure representation occurs both on and off screen throughout the production process. This includes amplifying voices from POC, women, the LGBT+ community, and people with disabilities.
In the Academy statement, Rubin and Dawn further stated, “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.”
These changes will start with the 94th Oscars in 2022 after which a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form must be submitted for any film to be considered for Best Picture, but they will not have to meet any specific standards those years. In 2024, movies will have to meet two out of four newly created standards to be eligible.
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