Academy Shakes-Up Oscars Requirements for Theatrical Releases Again


 

With theater operations restarted at one-hundred percent capacity, the time for streaming releases making it big at the Oscars is ending. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reinstated its requirements for the films to have a theatrical release to be eligible to contend at the 95th Academy Awards. In order for any film to make submissions to Oscars 2023, it must have a theatrical release within the calendar year 2022. Like the previous two ceremonies, Oscars 2023 won’t allow films that went straight to streaming due to theaters being shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will also remove the Academy Screening Room as the valid release venue for any films to contend.

 

The press release from the Academy states:

 

The eligibility period for Academy Awards consideration will return to the full calendar year: a feature film must have a qualifying theatrical release between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. The Academy Screening Room will no longer be a method of qualification, as theaters have reopened.

 

However, the Academy has announced that the studios will have an option to release their submissions in six U.S. metropolitan areas, continuing the decision from the previous year. The six areas will be – Los Angeles County; the City of New York; the Bay Area; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia. The requirement will apply to both General Entries and Documentary Categories.

 

The press release also confirmed that the ceremony’s eligibility criteria would once again move to consider films in one full calendar year. Oscars 2023 will view movies slated to release between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022. Earlier, the Academy extended the calendar year to March 2021 for 93rd Academy Awards while shortening the release date criteria for the 94th Oscars to a period of nine months (March 2021 to – December 2021).

 

 

Diversity & Inclusion Requirements Not Going Away

 

These new inclusion standards for best picture hopefuls are said to encourage diversity and equitable representation on screen and off, addressing gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and disability, but won’t go into effect until the 96th Academy Awards in 2024. In a 2020 press release for the Academy explained that starting in 2024, films competing for Best Picture will be required to meet at least two of the following four standards (original emphasis):

 

STANDARD A:  ON-SCREEN REPRESENTATION, THEMES AND NARRATIVES
To achieve Standard A, the film must meet ONE of the following criteria:

A1. Lead or significant supporting actors

At least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group.
• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

A2. General ensemble cast

At least 30% of all actors in secondary and more minor roles are from at least two of the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

A3. Main storyline/subject matter

The main storyline(s), theme or narrative of the film is centered on an underrepresented group(s).
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD B: CREATIVE LEADERSHIP AND PROJECT TEAM
To achieve Standard B, the film must meet ONE of the criteria below:

B1. Creative leadership and department heads

At least two of the following creative leadership positions and department heads—Casting Director, Cinematographer, Composer, Costume Designer, Director, Editor, Hairstylist, Makeup Artist, Producer, Production Designer, Set Decorator, Sound, VFX Supervisor, Writer—are from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

At least one of those positions must belong to the following underrepresented racial or ethnic group:
• Asian
• Hispanic/Latinx
• Black/African American
• Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
• Middle Eastern/North African
• Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
• Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

B2. Other key roles

At least six other crew/team and technical positions (excluding Production Assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. These positions include but are not limited to First AD, Gaffer, Script Supervisor, etc.

B3. Overall crew composition
At least 30% of the film’s crew is from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

STANDARD C:  INDUSTRY ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITIES
To achieve Standard C, the film must meet BOTH criteria below:

C1. Paid apprenticeship and internship opportunities

The film’s distribution or financing company has paid apprenticeships or internships that are from the following underrepresented groups and satisfy the criteria below:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

The major studios/distributors are required to have substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships/internships inclusive of underrepresented groups (must also include racial or ethnic groups) in most of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

The mini-major or independent studios/distributors must have a minimum of two apprentices/interns from the above underrepresented groups (at least one from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group) in at least one of the following departments: production/development, physical production, post-production, music, VFX, acquisitions, business affairs, distribution, marketing and publicity.

C2. Training opportunities and skills development (crew)

The film’s production, distribution and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities for below-the-line skill development to people from the following underrepresented groups:
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group
• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing
STANDARD D: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
To achieve Standard D, the film must meet the criterion below:

D1. Representation in marketing, publicity, and distribution

The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among the following underrepresented groups (must include individuals from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups) on their marketing, publicity, and/or distribution teams.
• Women
• Racial or ethnic group

  • Asian
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Black/African American
  • Indigenous/Native American/Alaskan Native
  • Middle Eastern/North African
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • ​Other underrepresented race or ethnicity

• LGBTQ+
• People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing

 

For 2022 and 2023, films competing for Best Picture will have to submit “a confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form” but will not yet be required to meet those 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,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson were quoted as saying.

 

Deadline commented approvingly that the new diversity standards were “a key sea change for an organization that had resisted imposing specific moviemaking rules on the industry” and that the requirements “could not come at a more opportune time in light of worldwide movements for equality in all walks of life.”

 

In 2016, the Academy adopted new changes to its membership in response to the “#OscarsSoWhite” campaign that began in 2015 and alleged that too many white people were winning awards, thanks to the overwhelmingly white voting membership.

 

 


Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON