Oscars unveil new representation and inclusion requirements for Best Picture nominations

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The Academy has updated their Best Picture eligibility requirements in an effort to have more diversity in its nominations going forward.

The update comes as a part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative. The initiative is said to aim at furthering efforts to advance inclusion internally as well as in the entertainment industry at large, beginning with changes to its Oscars telecast, group governance, and workplace culture. In their statement regarding the changes they said the new standards, “are designed to encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”

“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,” Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. “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.”

However, as the initiative’s title suggests, the changes aren’t going to be fully and officially implemented for a couple years. For the 94th Oscars (in 2022) and 95th Oscars (2023), to be considered the film must submit a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form. Meeting the full inclusion thresholds will not be required for eligibility in the Best Picture category until the 96th Oscars (2024). For the 96th Oscars, a film must meet two out of four standards to be deemed as eligible.

Below is the extensive list of the new eligibility requirements:

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 AmericanIndigenous/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
The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

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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