“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

The Academy Awards have announced a new representation and inclusion standard for films in the running for the coveted Best Picture category.

As part of its Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, the historic new move has been introduced to better reflect the diversity of viewers and encourage inclusion amongst gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and diversity.

With the help of the Producers Guild of America (PGA), the Academy have established four representation categories: on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.

To be considered for Best Picture, films will have to meet two of the four new standards, all of which have detailed subcategories.

For the on-screen representation category, films must have a lead or significant supporting character from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, while at least 30% of secondary characters must be from two underrepresented groups – these include women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ people or people with disabilities.

In order to meet the creative leadership and project team category, a film must have at least two leadership positions or department heads from underrepresented groups, and one must be from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. Six other members of crew are also required to be from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, and at least 30% from underrepresented groups.

“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

The third category, industry access and opportunities, details the need for paid internships, apprenticeship opportunities and training for “below-the-line” workers. The fourth, audience development, addresses diverse representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution.

The new initiative won’t affect the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards. However, there have been a few changes. The ceremony has been delayed until 25 April 2021, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the movie industry, and films that debuted on streaming services are now eligible for Best Picture.

Visit here to read the Academy Awards’ historic new initiative for films competing in the Best Picture category.