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NEWS: Oscars' Academy Reveals Next Phase in Inclusion Initative, Expands Best Picture Field to 10


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John Thacker



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 1006
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:38 am Reply with quote
Inclusion rules can be difficult to implement while also accepting non US films. Are non US films supposed to be inclusive within their own home country, or is it okay if they are not particularly inclusive from a local perspective, because they are inclusive from a Hollywood perspective? Do Nigerian films count for African-American representation?

The Oscars had a problem when they changed their Best Foreign Film to a Best Foreign Language Film recently (in spirit, by mandating that the film be predominantly not in English.) There's no question that a primarily English film has advantages with the Oscar voters, so one set of definitions means that British, Australian, or Canadian films would have an advantage. On the other hand, being strict about language has been incredibly tough on Nigerian films like Lionheart, which was disqualified for being in English. There's no good way to write rules that say that British films aren't foreign in the way that Nigerian films are without acknowledging a cultural divide, and some people will be uncomfortable about writing that distinction into the rules.

What we do know is that unconscious bias training does not work in any sense other than covering for the organization that institutes it and making the consultants money. Plenty for f rigorous studies have all concluded that it does not help and it's as reasonable to think that it makes people more biased as to think that it helps.
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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 1879
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:46 am Reply with quote
Or here's a better suggestion: Abolish the Oscars altogether.

Filmmaking shouldn't even be a competition in the first place.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
Posts: 914
Location: MD
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:41 am Reply with quote
I’m not sure how much this creates an easier path for anime to win another statuette. Though they can put out these invitations all they want, the fact is that the Academy’s membership is who it is and have the preconceived notions they have. That films like Parasite and Moonlight won, those were special cases. Flukes. Because those same people gave Green Book best picture. They sometimes go by repute alone and, in many cases, don’t even watch the movies that are nominated. That’s what Jordan Peele was up against with Get Out. Just because you expand best picture to 10 movies doesn’t mean everybody who votes on that category is going to watch all 10.
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12skippy21



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 785
Location: York, England
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:47 am Reply with quote
While award ceremonies are quite pointless, if Parasite had not been nominated it would have been more difficult to see it.

I had seen a internet review when it aired that wanted me to watch it, however only the major cities got limited releases, none of them in York. I was going to nip to Leeds or Newcastle to watch it, then all of a sudden it was a nominee for Best Picture and it got multiple screenings at local cinemas and I struggled to get a booking. (Covers similar themes and is a hell of a lot better than Joker for my money).

Award ceremonies tend to just be a self congratulatory pat on the back, but they do provide exposure to films that otherwise may not be seen. I would be more tempted to remove any movie over a certain budget, sure Marvel (and other similar movies) may not be nominated, but I see enough advertising from these that I will watch them anyway. I prefer to be recommended movies I may not normally get the chance to see.
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Adamanto



Joined: 07 Aug 2011
Posts: 152
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:59 am Reply with quote
They should just abolish that category entirely. It's an American movie award where non-American movies are only eligible to win a single shared "foreign movies" category, and which already requires foreign movies to go to extreme and quite expensive lengths to fulfill the criteria to get nominated. That category was never "best foreign movie", it was always "best foreign movie that purchased a nomination".
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FlowerAiko



Joined: 05 Apr 2017
Posts: 221
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:25 am Reply with quote
Aresef wrote:
I’m not sure how much this creates an easier path for anime to win another statuette.


This. Anime has two strikes against it, the Best Animated Feature Oscar was specifically made in order to avoid putting animated films into the Best Picture category. The Academy still largely see animated films as subpar art--a number have said they just ask their kids to vote for them. Back in '08 everyone thought WALL-E deserved at least a nom for Best Picture but that would step on the toes of the live action films so they threw into into Animated Feature and called it a day. Even if the Academy starts to seriously take non-English films seriously (they probably won't), it's a long way til they take "cartoons" seriously too.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:29 am Reply with quote
Adamanto wrote:
They should just abolish that category entirely. It's an American movie award where non-American movies are only eligible to win a single shared "foreign movies" category, and which already requires foreign movies to go to extreme and quite expensive lengths to fulfill the criteria to get nominated. That category was never "best foreign movie", it was always "best foreign movie that purchased a nomination".


Here’s the thing. The foreign language/international Oscar is not one that the director, distributor or even the international studio get to keep. Films are submitted by their countries’ film fraternities and the awards are given to the same. It wasn’t until recently that the director’s name was engraved on that particular statuette. So Bong Joon-ho still has his Oscars for picture, director, screenplay but the international feature statuettemay have gone to the Korean counterpart of AMPAS or something.

BAFTA has a similar category for films not in English.
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Xe4



Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:41 am Reply with quote
Hmm. I thought it was always silly that 10 films were allowed to be nominated for BP but sometimes were not. Making it 10 nominations every year makes tons of sense really and I'm shocked it wasn't put in place before.

As for diversity and inclusion requirements I agree it can be awkward for foreign films. I hope the academy realizes that "diversity" means different things in different countries. For example, I'm not sure that a very diverse film made in Africa represented by many different tribes and cultures would encounter resistance from the new rules, but i definitely don't trust the Oscar's not to trip all over themselves all the time over stuff like that.

Of course foreign films have always been shunted into one category and barely recognized, so the main effect will be on US films and will likely be a positive effect over the long term in the types of films nominated. We'll see I guess.
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Horsefellow



Joined: 01 Jan 2020
Posts: 262
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:40 am Reply with quote
Aresef wrote:
I’m not sure how much this creates an easier path for anime to win another statuette. Though they can put out these invitations all they want, the fact is that the Academy’s membership is who it is and have the preconceived notions they have. That films like Parasite and Moonlight won, those were special cases. Flukes. Because those same people gave Green Book best picture. They sometimes go by repute alone and, in many cases, don’t even watch the movies that are nominated. That’s what Jordan Peele was up against with Get Out. Just because you expand best picture to 10 movies doesn’t mean everybody who votes on that category is going to watch all 10.


It doesn't. This push has nothing to do with Japan or anime. This article mentions the 2016 Oscar backlash but does not provide context that it was specifically referring to the complaints about the lack of black nominees.. Nobody still cares about Japan or anime at the Oscars or other award shows.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 5898
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:00 pm Reply with quote
Xe4 wrote:

As for diversity and inclusion requirements I agree it can be awkward for foreign films. I hope the academy realizes that "diversity" means different things in different countries.


Foreign films should be held to the same diversity standards as U.S. films. It is a U.S. awards show. It kind of defeats the purpose of the diversity message, if you get to parse who it applies to or not.
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Xe4



Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:01 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Xe4 wrote:

As for diversity and inclusion requirements I agree it can be awkward for foreign films. I hope the academy realizes that "diversity" means different things in different countries.


Foreign films should be held to the same diversity standards as U.S. films. It is a U.S. awards show. It kind of defeats the purpose of the diversity message, if you get to parse who it applies to or not.

But like I said, increasing diversity is a different process in different countries. In many places, conflict and discrimination occur primarily based on clans and tribes and not always specifically about race as it is here in the US.

Would a movie made in Myanmar that included Rohyinga people and other minority populations be counted as diverse? Or would the academy just see a bunch of southeast asian people and disqualify it? That's what I'm worried about, mostly.

Edit: That said, racial discrimination occurs in many parts of the world and many foreign films from Europe and other countries with white majority populations could absolutely do with increasing racial diversity
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 5898
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I understand what you are saying. But if you don't stay to a standard, then you leave yourself open to complaints and grievancies from all sides. A standard protects you, but having to explain deviations for different counties will be a painful process, and quite possible lead to an negative outcry from people who don't understand or care about your reasons.
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jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 2032
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:15 pm Reply with quote
These sorts of criteria never work out and can never please everyone.

Good films are good films.

Parasite was nominated and won because it was damn good. Not because of diversity quota biases.
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casenumber00



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 159
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:06 pm Reply with quote
Still no category for Stuntmen? Out of everyone in a movies, they are the ones to put their life on the line the most with more people dying per year than you can count using your fingers.
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Romuska
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 803
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:47 pm Reply with quote
I have a hard time believing that we won't have another #OscarSoWhite situation. They've tried similar measures before to little avail.
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