The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility. The standards, which were modeled after the BAFTAs’ diversity requirements, include a set of requirements that must be met in order for a film to be deemed eligible for Best Picture. The Academy states that films considered for Best Picture must include two out of four standards concerning (1) onscreen representation, themes and narratives, (2) creative leadership and project team, (3) industry access and opportunities, and (4) audience development. Each standard emphasizes the inclusion both onscreen and behind the scenes of underrepresented races or minorities, as well as women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people with cognitive or physical disabilities.
The “industry access and opportunities” standard, for example, requires films to provide paid internships and training opportunities for underrepresented minorities, while the “themes and narratives” standard requires Best Picture films to center stories about marginalized groups. These requirements will only apply to Best Picture nominees; the requirements for the rest of the categories will remain the same. The announcement of these standards comes after a years-long discourse over the lack of inclusivity and diversity at the Oscars, exemplified by the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag created by activist April Reign in 2016. Back in June, the Academy announced that the Best Picture field would guarantee ten nominees, opening up the category to smaller films. The requirements for eligibility will go into effect for the 96th Oscars in 2024, though films will need to submit inclusion standards forms for the 94th Oscars in 2022 and 95th Oscars in 2023. You can check out the Academy’s new diversity and inclusion standards for Best Picture here.