The Oscars are raising the inclusion bar for best picture nominees starting with the 96th Academy Awards in 2024.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday laid out sweeping eligibility reforms to the best picture category. This move is intended to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and disability.
In a historic move, the film academy has established four broad representation categories: On-screen; among the crew; at the studio; and in opportunities for training and advancement in other aspects of the film’s development and release.
To be evaluated for the best picture, films will have to meet two of the four new standards, the Academy said.
To meet the representation standard, a film must either have at least one lead character or a significant supporting character be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
At least 30% of secondary roles must be from two underrepresented groups; or the main storyline, theme, or narrative must be focused on an underrepresented group. According to the academy, underrepresented groups comprise women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, or people with disabilities.
The best film award, which is given to the producers of a film, is the one category that every film academy member can vote for.
Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson 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. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
The second category deals with the creative leadership and crew composition of a film. To meet the standard, a film must have either at least two leadership positions.
The third category addresses the paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities as well as training opportunities for below-the-line workers.
The fourth and the last category addresses representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution teams.
The inclusion standards form will be confidential and will not be imposed for best picture hopefuls for the 94th and 95th Academy Awards.
The inclusion standards were created by a task force led by academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos and in consultation with the Producers Guild of America.