These Are the New Parameters For Best Picture

The Academy Awards now have strict diversity standards if you want to be eligible for Best Picture. 

There have been a ton of problems in Hollywood when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Every year we think it will get better, but most people know that without action or standards, nothing changes. 

The Academy has come forward and released a new set of mandates that go into full effect in 2024. 

These are requirements that must be met in order to have your film honored when it comes to Best Picture. 

The tweet below shows the exact wording of what needs to happen. AMPAS said that these requirements would be gradually adopted for the 94th (2022) and 95th (2023) Oscars but in full effect with the 96th Academy Awards in 2024. 

So what are the requirements? 

Starting with the 2024 Oscars, a film must meet 2 of the following 4 standards to be eligible for Oscar’s biggest prize...

They need to have at least one Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or unspecified other underrepresented race or ethnicity as a “lead or significant supporting actor” is a potential requirement. 

Those ethnicities are also mentioned for prominent production and marketing jobs -- which could be a requirement. 

Additionally, there is a focus on employing women as well as LGBTQ+, members of a racial or ethnic group, and people with cognitive or physical disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing. This will be another standard for which movies are measured. 

Also, at least 30% of actors in secondary and more minor roles; having a storyline centered on an underrepresented group; hiring creative leadership and department heads; maintaining least 30% crew composition; paid internships; and representation in marketing and distribution also are potential areas in order to be a Best Picture contender.

Producers don’t have to meet all of the requirements of the new doctrine, just half.

So you should at least make sure there is diversity behind the camera as well. 

According to the AMPAS release, the standards are designed to encourage equitable representation on and off-screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the moviegoing 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 Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said. “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.”

According to the Academy, these new standards apply only to Best Picture and do not affect other categories, which will stick to their current eligibility requirements. Here are the specific standards announced today...

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

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

Up next? 

Want to relive some of the best picture winners in history? Enjoy!     

You Might Also Like

Your Comment

8 Comments

We should all take notes from Predator, it hits most of the requirements in the A group and probably a few in the B and C area (I don't know, I didn't look into IMDB). And it's a great enough movie to get at least a nomination for best picture with all the movies that are currently coming out, (you can make your own conclusions about why).

September 9, 2020 at 10:39AM

0
Reply
Leo E.
Writer
195

Beyond ludicrous

September 9, 2020 at 1:18PM, Edited September 9, 1:18PM

3
Reply

Is this a joke?

September 9, 2020 at 9:39PM

1
Reply
Bishop
272

I could not love this more. Best news ever. Liberals now having to live by their own standards. This is perfect. I hope that more people start realizing that Liberalism has always been the antithesis of art.
Well deserved, Hollywood!

September 10, 2020 at 8:59AM

3
Reply

Its interesting because on the surface Liberalism in terms of art is about hearing all stories from all people. To the problem isn't liberalism itself, its liberalism's intersection with capitalism.

Big budget Hollywood popcorn movies seem to have generally gotten dumber and dumber but the more interesting fare has got better and better and more liberal. So for me what that says is that when art is produced purely as capitalist, then it pays nary a lip service to art.

When art embraces the ideas of liberalism - think A24, Searchlight Pictures, Roadside Attractions, HBO etc etc the art is art, the art is personal, creative, emotional and truthful.

The problem is the Oscars act as though they are the arbiters of Art yet they also want to align themselves with the pure capitalism of Hollywood. Thats the problem. Look to the Independent films, independent film awards and film festivals to see that Liberalism is critical to the flourishing of art. Capitalism is the killer of it....

But then pretending that the movies up for Oscars that are not their through the independent system are ART is your first problem.

Liberalism = Intersting Art.
Capitalism = Shit.

Capitalism parading as liberalism = these rules.

But to be honest, we will see no change in the quality of the movies themselves so its not really a big deal.

September 11, 2020 at 12:41AM

0
Reply
avatar
Isaac Elliott
Director - Producer
698

And this, folks, is what happens when someone who doesn't understand Economics at all starts talking about Economics.
Just nonsense and anti-intellectual feces.
Not a singe economist on the planet would agree with even one sentence in your post. Stay in your lane. Make movies. But never, never talk about economics unless you want everyone to laugh at you out loud. Your brain simply has not been taught how to think about such things.

September 15, 2020 at 9:28AM

0
Reply

This is absurd. The Academy has no business dictating this kind of stuff. It’s up to the filmmakers and studios to decide what their films are about, and who to hire. They should have the flexibility to hire who’s best for the job, regardless of how they look or feel — and none of that should have any bearing on their eligibility for Best Picture. There will be a major backlash against this. The Oscars just keep getting worse each year!

September 11, 2020 at 12:12PM

4
Reply

The academy must feel quite heroic. Surely this will make the world a more tolerant, inclusive place.

September 15, 2020 at 4:22AM

5
Reply
chip brandstetter
Filmmaker, Editor, Animator, Sound Design, Composer
343