The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced plans to increase the Best Picture Oscar category to 10 nominees as part of its drive to improve diversity.
AMPAS officials announced a raft of new changes to help the Oscars become a more inclusive and diverse competition on Friday, including the news that the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees, instead of the number changing every year, starting with the 94th Academy Awards for 2021 films.
“While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board,” Academy chief executive officer Dawn Hudson said in a statement, according to Variety. “The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend- and continue to examine – our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.”
To help them make further strides towards more diverse representation at the Oscars, the Academy and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) are creating a task force of industry leaders “to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility by July 31, 2020”.
Academy officials will also set up a quarterly viewing process through the Academy Screening Room, the streaming site for Academy members, also starting with the 94th Academy Awards.
“By making it possible for members to view films released year-round, the Academy will broaden each film’s exposure, level the playing field, and ensure all eligible films can be seen by voting members,” they explained in a press release.
They also announced changes to the Board of Governors and unveiled plans for a series of panel discussions called Academy Dialogue: It Starts With Us. These will focus on the topics of race, ethnicity, history, opportunity, and the art of filmmaking, with the initiative to include a conversation hosted by governor Whoopi Goldberg.
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