By Josh Rottenberg | 8 September 2020
LOS ANGELES TIMES — In the latest step in its ongoing effort to boost diversity both within its own ranks and across the film industry, on Tuesday the film academy announced new representation standards for films to be eligible to compete for best picture.
Developed over the past few months by a special task force as part of the organization’s Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, the standards encompass both representation onscreen — in the types of stories being told and the actors involved — as well as behind the scenes in the makeup of the crew and in the inclusivity of the companies involved.
To be eligible for best picture, a film must meet at least two standards across four categories: “Onscreen Representation, Themes and Narratives,” “Creative Leadership and Project Team,” “Industry Access and Opportunities” and “Audience Development.” Within each category are a variety of criteria involving the inclusion of people in underrepresented groups, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people and those with cognitive or physical disabilities. (Other Oscar categories will not be held to these same standards, but the contenders for best picture typically filter down to other feature-length categories.)
Previously, the only standards to qualify for best picture involved a film’s running time (over 40 minutes) and specifics about how, where and when it’s screened in a public venue. […]