In a massive bid to promote inclusion as well as diversity and to address systemic issues, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced that beginning in 2024, movies must meet certain inclusion thresholds in terms of representation in order to be eligible for the Academy Award for best picture.
To be eligible for the best picture for the Oscars 2024, a movie must meet two out of four standards: A. On screen representation, themes and narratives; B. Creative leadership and project team; C. Industry access and opportunities; and D. audience development.
To achieve standard A, at least one of the lead actors or 30 per cent of all the actors in secondary roles must be from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. Similarly, to achieve standard B, at least two of creative leadership positions and department heads such as Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer must be from underrepresented groups.
The criteria to achieve standard C is that the film must promote paid apprenticeships or internships among underrepresented groups. Finally, to achieve standard D, the studio and/or film company must have multiple in-house senior executives from underrepresented communities.
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
These new criteria were introduced under an initiative called Academy Aperture 2025.
“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,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
These initiatives were undertaken by Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos, who set these thresholds on the basis of the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards used in the United Kingdom for certain funding eligibility and the eligibility parameters used in some categories of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Awards.
The Academy is certainly making some big moves to bring in more diverse representation. For instance, earlier in July, the AMPAS extended invitations to 819 artists and executives of which 45 per cent were women and 36 per cent were non-white.
This is certainly a welcome move! Do you agree?