The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) says films hoping to compete for the best picture Oscar will have to meet certain criteria over diversity.
The honorary organisation broke the news via its website on Wednesday while setting out four “standards” to boost representation and inclusion.
For the 96th Oscars in 2025, it said only films that meet at least two of the standards will qualify for its award, which has long been criticised as lacking diversity in front of and behind the camera.
“Today, the AMPAS announced new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility in the Best Picture category, as part of its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative,” the statement read.
“The standards are designed to encourage equitable representation on and off-screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.
“Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos headed a task force to develop standards that were created from a template inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards.”
Among the motives for its standards, AMPAS listed some underrepresented groups it now looks to cater to as including women, racial and ethnic factions, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.
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
It said such groups need to be involved in on-screen acting and storylines, creative leadership, paid apprenticeships, as well as audience development from publicity and marketing to distribution.
These requirements, it said, will apply to films made in 2024 for the awards ceremony in 2025, and beyond while films from 2021 will be required to submit an Academy Inclusion Standards form.
“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” David Rubin, its president, and Dawn Hudson, its CEO, 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.”
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