The Oscars are changing. New rules mean that Best Picture nominations must now be more inclusive in certain categories otherwise they won’t be eligible for the shortlist.
The L.A. Times outlines the steps taken, with films up for Best Picture now needing to meet requirements in at least two of the following four categories: “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives”, “Creative Leadership and Project Team”, “Industry Access and Opportunities”, and “Audience Development.”
“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. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” Academy president David Rubin and chief executive Dawn Hudson said.
It’s not clear what each category specifically entails and what the exact standards are that need to be met. According to the report, underrepresented groups and minorities (such as POC and the LGBTQ community) should be included on-screen, in creative roles, as well as offering pathways for those entering the industry.
The Best Picture changes don’t come into play until 2024 meaning that there’s still plenty of time for Hollywood and the rest of the film industry to play catch up. It’s also a welcome move that should, hopefully, see marginalised groups share their talents and experiences as well as being given the opportunity to be a part of some of the biggest movies of the year.
Next year’s Oscars have, for now, been delayed until late April, with the Academy Awards even now allowing on-demand movies to be eligible for nomination without a theatrical release.
Slowly but surely, it seems the Academy is changing with the times – and that can only be a good thing for film fans everywhere.