As part of the Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed a new set of standards for which films are eligible for the Best Picture grand prize.

The Academy stated in a press release that the new rules “are designed to encourage equitable representation on and off-screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and president David Rubin echoed that sentiment in their own statement, and said, “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

The new rules come in the wake of years of public outcry over a lack of diversity among Oscar nominees, especially in 2015 and 2016 with the #OscarsSoWhite movement, as an effort to further diversify the playing field.

For Best Picture consideration at the 94th and 95th Oscars ceremonies (in 2022 and 2023, respectively), submission of an Academy Inclusion Standards form will be required. The new set of rules will fully come into play at the 96th Oscars in 2024.

For films to be eligible, they must meet two of the following four requirements:

  1. On-Screen Representation, Themes, and Narratives
    • At least one of the lead actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, OR
    • At least 30% of actors in secondary and minor roles are from at least two underrepresented groups, OR
    • The main storyline, theme, or narrative of the film is centered around one or more underrepresented group
  2. Creative Leadership and Project Team
    • At least two creative leadership positions and department heads are from an underrepresented group, OR
    • At least six other crew and technical team positions (excluding production assistants) are from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, OR
    • At least 30% of the film’s crew is from an underrepresented group
  3. Industry Access and Opportunities
    • The film’s distribution or financing company has substantive, ongoing paid apprenticeships or internships that are from underrepresented groups, AND
    • The film’s production, distribution, and/or financing company offers training and/or work opportunities to people from underrepresented groups
  4. Audience Development
    • The studio and/or film company has multiple in-house senior executives from among underrepresented groups

Underrepresented groups include:

  • Women
  • LGBT+
  • People with cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Racial or ethnic groups:
    • 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