Oscars Announce New Diversity Requirements for Best Picture Nominees


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has taken another step toward addressing their long-standing diversity problem this week with the addition of some new rules for qualification for the Best Picture category. A couple of years ago they launched an initiative to increase the Academy membership to include more women and people of colour and now they are looking at new ways to push for inclusion in the actual movies that are being produced in Hollywood, both on screen and off screen. Starting with the 96th Academy Awards in 2024, every movie submitted for Best Picture consideration must meet 2 of the 4 following standards:

A. On-Screen Representation, Themes and Narrative
This includes at least one of the following:
– At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group
– At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two underrepresented groups
– The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).

B. Creative Leadership and Project Team
This includes at least one of the following:
– At least two of creative leadership positions and department heads are from an underrepresented group
– At least six other crew/team and technical positions are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group
– At least 30% of the film’s crew is from an underrepresented group

C. Industry Access and Opportunities
This includes at least one of the following:
– The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from underrepresented groups
– The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from underrepresented groups

D. Audience Development
– The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from underrepresented groups on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams

Please note that there are more details for each standard, this is just an overview. Eligibility requirements for all other Oscar categories will remain the same for now, but films being submitted for Best Picture from specialty categories (Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, International Feature Film) will likely have a different set of rules that are yet to be determined.

While this change is sure to spark debate, the variety of options available to meet these standards do not seem overly restrictive and once again, this is only for the Best Picture category specifically. I’m sure the goal one day is to have a world where these rules are not necessary, but for the time being, this will help make positive changes and the Academy should be applauded for making an effort to improve the system from the ground up. Do you think this is a step in the right direction to achieve better representation in the movie industry?

  • Matt the Kiwi

    So when you get hired onto a film, you must now declare your sexual preferences on your job application…seems problematic.