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What the next Oscars will look like in the current climate is yet to be seen, but as they say in show biz, the show must go on.
As well as postponing the 2021 film event by two months, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced new representation and inclusion standards for its Best Picture category.
The annual ceremony has come under fire for a lack of diversity in the past, with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter in 2015 after only two people of colour were nominated in major categories.
Since then, APAS launched a new initiative - Academy Aperture 2025 - in a bid to further its efforts to advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and boost representation within its membership and the greater movie community.
As part of the initiative, Academy governors DeVon Franklin and Jim Gianopulos headed a task force to develop the new guidelines, which are based on a template inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards.
"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," said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
"The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality. We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry."
While meeting the equity standards aren't required for eligibility in the Best Picture category until 2024, for the 94th (2022) and 95th Oscars (2023), submitting a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form will be mandatory.
Starting on the 96th ceremony, a film must meet two out of four of these benchmarks if its creators want to be in with a chance of being nominated.
The four categories comprise: on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities and audience development.
Under these four sections are descriptions of what they entail, listing everything from ensuring that at least one of the lead actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group to providing paid apprenticeships, training opportunities and work to underrepresented groups.
You can find the full list of criteria on the Oscars website.
The news follows director Bong Joon-ho making history at the 2020 Academy Awards when his South Korean film Parasite became the first non-English language movie to win the Best Picture accolade.
He also bagged Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for his efforts, gaining such success that the 50-year-old felt the need to apologise when it came to handing over the awards to the engravers.
Bong Joon Ho apologizes to the engravers for having too many #Oscars https://t.co/hWATPNesC8 pic.twitter.com/u5XuaKBdki
- Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020
"I'm so sorry for this hard work, there's too many," he said.
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