The Oscars will feature 10 nominees for best picture each year in a bid to promote “inclusion”, the film academy has said.
Current rules allow for the number of films shortlisted in the category to fluctuate each year.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the move in a statement which said the organisation is seeking to “advance inclusion in the entertainment industry and increase representation within its membership and the greater film community”.
The plans are part of the organisation’s Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, which will see the organisation encourage “equitable hiring practices and representation” in the film industry.
A task force has also been set up to develop new standards for representation and inclusion in the film awards by July 31.
The new standards will be implemented for the 2021 Oscars, which is also the year that the new rules around the number of best picture nominations will be brought in.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said: “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.
We are excited to announce the next phase of our equity and inclusion initiative. In our efforts to increase representation, we are working to create new industry standards, add new voices to our Board of Governors and expand the Best Picture category. https://t.co/HSIfHtXPVh— The Academy (@TheAcademy) June 12, 2020
“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.”
Academy president David Rubin said that the organisation “must recognise how much more needs to be done, and we must listen, learn, embrace the challenge, and hold ourselves and our community accountable.”
The Oscars has repeatedly faced criticism over the diversity of awards shortlists.
The Academy announced an all-white list of acting nominees in both 2015 and 2016, a move that provoked widespread anger in Hollywood – typified by the high-profile #OscarsSoWhite campaign on Twitter – and led to several stars boycotting the 2016 ceremony.