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Academy Aperture


Academy Aperture

Broadening the lens through which we recognize excellence.

On February 9, 2020, Parasite rewrote history by becoming the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. The moment marked the culmination of a five-year effort to diversify our organization and expand our definition of the “best.” In 2016, the Academy set specific inclusion goals as part of its A2020 initiative to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and significantly grow its international membership by 2020.   

We are proud of these accomplishments, but our efforts are far from over. Our goals with Aperture are to further the dialogue and challenge our history to create a more equitable and inclusive community.

Academy Awards

To encourage equitable hiring practices and ensure more diverse representation on and off screen, the Academy, in collaboration with the Producers Guild of America, will create a task force of industry leaders to develop and implement new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility.

Beginning with the 94th Academy Awards (2021), the Best Picture category will be set at 10 nominees, rather than a fluctuating number of nominations from year to year.

We will also implement a quarterly viewing process through the Academy Screening Room, the streaming site for Academy members, 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.

Governance and Membership

Unconscious bias training will be mandatory for all Academy governors, branch executive committee members and Academy staff on an annual basis. All Academy members will be offered an opportunity to participate in training as well.

Additionally, the Board of Governors passed a resolution to amend the Academy bylaws to enact maximum governor term limits. Governors will be allowed to serve on the board for up to two three-year terms (consecutive or non-consecutive), followed by a two-year hiatus, after which eligibility renews for up to two additional three-year terms, for a lifetime maximum of 12 years.

The Academy will host a series of panels called “Academy Dialogue: It Starts with Us” for members and the public, with conversations about race, ethnicity, history, opportunity and the art of filmmaking.

The Academy will also present conversations on the systemic changes that need to occur in areas such as casting, screenwriting, producing, directing, financing and greenlighting of movies in order to afford opportunities to women and people of color and to help create a new narrative for recovery.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is committed to building an anti-racist, inclusive organization that will contextualize and challenge dominant narratives around cinema, and build authentic relationships with diverse communities. The Academy Museum will also create spaces that highlight and prioritize the experience of traditionally underrepresented or marginalized people while advancing the understanding, celebration, preservation and accessibility of movies through its business practices, exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives and collections.

The Museum will work in active partnership with the Inclusion Advisory Committee to help develop public programs, exhibitions and collections that confront racism, champion the work of diverse artists and expose historical omissions.

Workplace Culture

The Academy will establish an Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity to oversee the Aperture initiative and work with the Board of Governors, Academy staff and experts to ensure the implementation of best practices and accountability throughout the organization.

All Academy staff will have access to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond.

Existing Efforts

The organization has already made a significant impact on the following initiatives and programs:

  • Academy Gold – Academy Gold is an industry talent development, diversity and inclusion initiative, with a focus on underrepresented communities, to provide individuals access and resources to achieving their career pathways in filmmaking.
  • Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative – Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative includes global member-focused events designed to connect and empower women in the filmmaking community and enable them to share their stories and celebrate inclusion. The initiative also includes the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women, which funds annual grants for female filmmakers beginning their careers.
  • Academy International Inclusion Initiative – The Academy International Inclusion Initiative aims to bring together a global community of artists by establishing long-term relationships with international film festivals and cultural exchange programs with established and emerging filmmaking communities.
  • Student Academy Awards – The Student Academy Awards, established in 1972, provide a platform for emerging global talent by creating opportunities within the industry to showcase their work.
  • Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting – The Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is an international screenwriting competition established to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters.  Winners are chosen through an extensive, professional script-reading process that also includes Academy-trained readers, with many from underrepresented communities.