09 Sep 2020: "Diverse global population" mandatory for 'Best Picture' nomination: Academy Awards
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is taking the diversity angle seriously.
Officials released a statement citing conditions the studios will have to abide by while filing nominations for the Best Picture award from the 94th Academy Award onward.
This includes a form submission for next two years and guidelines adherence from the third year.
Criteria for other categories stay the same.
Guidelines: Academy CEO and President have issued the statement about this
In a joint statement, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and Academy President David Rubin stressed on inclusion of "diverse global population" in the "creation of motion pictures."
Studios must qualify for multiple sub-criteria of four major standards to get a nomination for Best Picture.
Categories such as animated feature, international feature and documentary feature will face different treatment if they file for Best Picture category.
Rules: Standard A: On-screen representation
This has 3 sub-clauses, starting with a lead or significant supporting actor belonging to underrepresented ethnic or racial groups such as Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, indigenous, native American or Alaskan native, middle-eastern, north African, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander or other ethnicities.
The main storyline and/or 30% of general ensemble cast must represent women, LGBTQ+ and people with cognitive/physical disabilities such as hearing impairment.
Optional rules: Standard B: Creative team members
Two of various leadership posts such as casting director, director, etc. must represent aforementioned groups across gender and disability barriers, while one of those two posts must belong to the aforementioned ethnicities.
Six crew/technical employees excluding production assistants must belong to said ethnic or racial groups.
In total, 30% of the film crew must belong to underrepresented groups based on gender, race and ethnicity.
Mandatory obeyance: Standard C: Industry opportunities
Established big studios/distributors must show evidence of long-term or ongoing paid internship or apprenticeship for underrepresented ethnic and/or gender groups in most of the departments including production/development and VFX.
Indie studios/distributors need to have 2 apprentices/interns from the said groups in any one of their departments.
The production, distribution and financing company of the film must train or hire people from the said groups.
Compulsory: Standard D: Marketing, publicity and distribution
Finally, there have to be multiple senior executives working for the studio concerned and/or film company, who should belong to the said underrepresented ethnic, racial, disability or gender-based groups.
Studios get options from standards A and B to adhere to while filing nominations.
However, standards C and D must be followed completely.
This is indeed a landmark decision to guide film-making with diverse perspectives.