The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences used to only require a movie run longer than 40 minutes and had specifics “about how, where and when it’s screened in a public venue” in order to be considered for best picture.

Now the organization has four new standards based on inclusion.

The movie must have diversity in:

  • On-Screen Representation, Themes and Narratives
  • Creative Leadership and Project Team
  • Industry Access and Opportunities
  • Audience Development

The change comes as the Academy wants “to encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”

The Academy developed a task force “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility.” This task force used guidelines in place by the “British Film Industry (BFI) Diversity Standards used for certain funding eligibility in the UK and eligibility in some categories of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Awards.” The Producers Guild of America also chipped in.

The new requirement will begin in 2024. However, filmmakers must submit an Academy Inclusion Standards form in 2022 and 2023 in order for the Academy to consider the film for best picture.

Here is the first standard:

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

The one that really gets me is the Audience Development because it has nothing to do with the actual film.

Instead, it’s all about diversity “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

I have a few questions:

  • I see “women” in these lists. Does this include white women?
  • Will a white male be suitable to fulfill the requirement of having someone “with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing?”

The Academy only changed the best picture requirements. The other categories will keep their current standards.

So as long as your film has diversity on and off the screen the Academy could consider it for best picture.

It’s not about merit or hard work. It’s all about skin color, chromosomes, sexual orientation, etc.

Final question: Is this genuine or another way for white liberals to feel better about themselves? Don’t answer that. It’s a rhetorical question.

[Featured image via YouTube]

 

 
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