The Academy Announces Defining New Inclusion Rules For Best Picture Eligibility

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced a new set of groundbreaking rules for filmmakers in order to be eligible for submitting their films in the best picture category. The organization revealed new representation and inclusion standards for the upcoming Oscar ceremonies.

In a press release obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, the Academy announced that the filmmakers and production houses seeking to get their pictures nominated in the best picture category would have to submit a “confidential Academy Inclusion Standards” form. Their movies will only then be considered for the biggest prize of the star-studded night.

The changes will start taking place on the 94th Academy Awards that are scheduled to take place in 2022. Meanwhile, from 2024, a movie submitted for the Best Picture category will have to meet the inclusion thresholds to be considered for a nomination. The movie would have to meet two of the four standards for a nod.

According to the Academy, “Standard A” comprises “on-screen representation, themes, and narratives.” In this category, the organization says that “at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group” like Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Middle Eastern/North African, or other underrepresented ethnicities.

Meanwhile, almost 30% of all actors in secondary or minor roles should be “women” or come from “racial or ethnic group, LGBTQ+ community, and people with physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

As far as the themes are concerned, the organization wants the main storylines to focus on the aforementioned group.

On the other hand, “Standard B” refers to inclusion in the “creative leadership and department heads” category. According to the Academy, at least two of the creative leadership positions such as casting director, cinematographer, composer, director, editor, costume designer, hairstylist, makeup artist, producer, production designer, sound, set decorator, writer, and VFX supervisor should be given to a woman or someone from underrepresented groups like LGBTQ+ and people with cognitive disabilities.

Also, one of the positions should be held by people coming from various communities like Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, and others.

Similarly, almost 30% of the film’s crew should also include women or people from other underrepresented groups.

David Rubin, president of the Academy, and Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy, issued a joint statement along with the new set of rules, saying that the Academy is “committed” to playing an important role in diversifying the global population in the creation of motion pictures.

“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,” THR quoted the statement.

The new inclusion standards are as follows:

STANDARD A: ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES 

To achieve Standard A, the film must meet ONE of the following criteria:

A1. Lead or significant supporting actors

At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.

• Asian

• Hispanic/Latinx

• Black/African American

• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native

• Middle Eastern/North African

• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

A2. General ensemble cast

At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

A3. Main storyline/subject matter

The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM 

To achieve Standard B, the film must meet ONE of the criteria below:

B1. Creative leadership and department heads

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 the following underrepresented groups:

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:

• Asian

• Hispanic/Latinx

• Black/African American

• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native

• Middle Eastern/North African

• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

B2. Other key roles

At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc.

B3. Overall crew composition

At least 30% of the film’s crew is from the following underrepresented groups:

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD C:  INDUSTRY ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES 

To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities

The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)

The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group

• LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD D: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT 

To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution

The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.

• Women

• Racial or ethnic group 

•Asian

•Hispanic/Latinx

•Black/African American

•Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native

•Middle Eastern/North African

•Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

•Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

•LGBTQ+

• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

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