Films running for ‘best picture’ at the Oscars must be diverse - these are the new rules

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:45 pm

Films competing for 'best picture' at the Oscars will soon have to adhere to new diversity criteria, according to the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy has listed four "standards"  it will require films to adopt to be in for a chance of winning the title.

It's hoped these will increase the amount of minority representation and inclusion, both behind and in front of the camera.

This decision comes after several years of criticism over the Oscars' lack of diversity.

When will the new rules come into effect?

The rules will not impact the awards ceremony for a few years to come.

The standards will come into place in five years' time at the 96th Oscars, in 2025.

What criticisms has the Oscars faced?

The Academy has long been criticised by film stars and film makers alike, due to its low number of nominations for female, black or minority actors and directors.

Back in 2016 several stars including Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Reece Witherspoon and George Clooney, decided to boycott the ceremony in protest.

This year also saw the #OscarsSoWhite movement grow in popularity, which led to the Academy promising to double both its female and BAME members by 2020.

Did the Academy uphold its promise?

The Academy recently announced it had doubled the number of women members and tripled the amount of members from under-represented races.

It said it had invited 819 new members to vote for this year's Oscars.

Out of these new members, 45 per cent are women and 36 per cent come from non-white backgrounds.

What are the new rules?

The Academy has now listed the underrepresented groups, which includes women, racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ as well as people with disabilities.

It has also clarified the areas in which these groups are needed, in order for the film to qualify for the best picture title.

These areas are as follows:

  • On-screen acting and storylines must include "at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group"
  • Creative leadership positions, departmental heads and crew composition
  • Paid apprenticeships, internships and training
  • Audience development, from publicity and marketing to distribution