- 09 Sep 20
The requirements will go into effect at the 2024 awards.
The Oscars have revealed their new diversity requirements for films to be eligible in the category of Best Picture. Inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards used for funding eligibility in the UK, and eligibility in certain categories at the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Awards, the changes will come into effect for the 96th Academy Awards (2024).
In order for films to be eligible for the Best Picture Award, they will have to meet 2 of the 4 requirements. These new requirements include: A) on-screen representation, themes, and narratives; B) creative leadership and project team; C) industry access and opportunities; or D) audience development. All categories other than Best Picture will be held to their current eligibility requirements.
Discussing the details further in a statement, the Academy noted that a movie must meet one of the following criteria in order to achieve Standard A: at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; at least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups; or the main storyline(s), theme, or narrative of the film is centred on an underrepresented group(s).
To achieve Standard B, a movie must meet one of the following three criteria: at least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads — Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer — are from underrepresented groups and underrepresented racial groups; at least six other crew/team and technical positions (such as First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc., but excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group; or at least 30% of the film’s crew members are from underrepresented groups.
In order to achieve Standard C, a film must meet both of the criteria outlined: the film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups; and 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.
Lastly, to achieve a Standard D, the movie’s studio and/or film company must have multiple in-house senior executives from underrepresented groups (which must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
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
"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," said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. "The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, next year's awards have been postponed until April 2021. The eligibility window has been extended, films no longer need to be screened in a theatre for consideration, and the Best Picture contenders have been returned to a guaranteed total of 10 nominees.