Introduced under an initiative called Aperture 2025, the organization said the goal was to “encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.”
Films must meet at least two of four benchmarks. They include featuring actors from underrepresented groups in significant roles or accounting for at least 30% of the cast; similar criteria in terms of those working on the film behind the scenes; a significant commitment to paid apprenticeships, internships and career development; and significant representation among the teams devoted to marketing, publicity and distribution.
During the Oscar campaigns in 2022 and 2023, movies will have to submit a confidential “inclusion standards” form, but that won’t prevent eligibility until the 96th Academy Awards. Next year’s awards, encompassing movies released in 2020, have already been delayed by two months due to the disruptions to film distribution caused by the coronavirus.
The change was made in consultation with the Producers Guild of America, and adapted from standards developed by the British Film Institute that must be met to earn funding for certain projects in the U.K.