Movie theater. The Academy of Oscars adopts new rules to promote diversity

It will now be necessary to deal with the new “criteria A, B, C and D” to hope to win the Oscar for best feature film. “Films will need to meet certain minimum criteria for representation and inclusion to be selected by the Academy of Oscars, beginning in 96e edition of the ceremony, which will be held in 2025 (and will reward films from 2024)”, relate The Hollywood Reporter citing the Academy’s announcement on September 8. These new guidelines are put in place five years after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy – which had taken shape on social networks –, and while the most prestigious American awards of the 7e art are regularly criticized for their lack of diversity.

Minorities remain less present in the films selected each year than in American society as a whole. A statistical under-representation that the FinancialTimes quantified before the previous ceremony: 40% of Americans are not white, but between 2016 and 2019, these 40% “accounted for only 33% of roles in mainstream films [sortis aux États-Unis]and only for 17% of the roles in the selection of the Oscars”. Earlier this summer, the Academy was partly renewed, inviting more women, non-white people and foreigners to the jury.

An approach inspired by the British

What do these new diversity criteria look like, divided into four categories? The Californian magazine lists them in detail. They concern “screen representation, themes and storylines” (criterion A), “the creative direction and the staff employed” (criterion B), “access and contacts with industry” (criterion C, centered on vocational training) and the “audience development” (criterion D, focused on marketing and distribution teams). Within each category, one or two very specific conditions must be met. For example, 30% of the film crews must come from a “under-represented group”, women, non-white people, LGBTor with a disability, to validate criterion B.

It is also necessary to fulfill two of the four criteria in total to be selectable, so it is not a question of ticking all the boxes. Thus would be accepted the application of a film whose director of photography is African-American and the composer of the soundtrack is a woman (criterion B), and which, at the same time, would have set up internship offers or paid apprenticeship for people with disabilities (criterion C). Parasiteby Korean director Bong Joon-ho, Oscar winner at the 92e ceremony, immediately validated almost all the criteria.

The Hollywood Reporter points out that this grid is inspired by an initiative in force in the United Kingdom to determine eligibility for subsidies, as well as for certain categories of the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (Bafta, equivalent of the Oscars). But only the category of the best film is for the moment concerned on the other side of the Atlantic.

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Movie theater. The Academy of Oscars adopts new rules to promote diversity