2021 oscars date

Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite debacle of 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been making significant strides to try to change their image as a creaky, majority-white institution. They’ve welcomed more women, people of color, and international stars into their ranks, expanded their categories, and so on. But the Academy may have made its most significant stride yet with the new introduction of inclusion standards into the Oscars eligibility rules. To be eligible for a Best Picture nomination, films must meet a minimum of two of the four new Oscar inclusion standards just announced by the Academy.

Nearly five years after #OscarsSoWhite dominated social media, the Academy announced its Academy Aperture 25 initiative: a set of new inclusion and representation standards that will determine whether a film is eligible for Best Picture, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Starting with the 2024 Oscars, a film must meet two of the following four standards to be eligible for Oscar’s biggest prize: on-screen representation, themes, and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.

The new inclusion standards have been introduced “to encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience,” the Academy announced Tuesday. The new requirements were determined by a task force headed by Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos and were modeled after a template inspired by the British Film Institute Diversity Standards, for the BAFTAs.

The new inclusion standards will not be required for films competing in the upcoming 93rd annual Oscars, and will only begin with the 96th Oscar race in 2024. Only Best Picture contenders will be held to these eligibility requirements, for now.

Will this actually make an impact on the films nominated for Best Picture in the future? It’s too soon to tell, though any concern that this would exclude past Oscar favorites like Marriage Story or The Irishman should be assuaged: because films only have to meet two of the four requirements, those films would still qualify thanks to their diverse production and marketing departments. This would for sure encourage studios to hire more diversity behind-the-scenes, but it’s unlikely that it will actually change the films themselves all that much.

See the full set of standards below.

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
  • 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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