And the award goes to...! The benefits of the newest Oscars category
With the recent announcement of upcoming changes for the Academy Awards, there have certainly been a mixed bag of opinions from celebrities about the proposed developments, in particular with the newest award category, 'Popular Film'.
With well known individuals such as Rob Lowe condemming these changes, suggesting that the film industry has now "passed away", and Mark Harris believing the new category arrival is "A ghetto and will be percieved that way", there is a large amount of critical speculation about how this is all going to play out with the awards a matter of months away.
However, let's hold our horses for a second! There are positives in regards to this announcement that need to be considered.
In recent years, there has seem to be a decrease in the amount of views and interest that the awards are receiving from viewers across the globe. Now, alongside the other changes, such as a shorter running time and a earlier calendar date, the category has possibly been put into action to maintain interest from audiences.
Yes, the awards are an important platform for underrated films that deserve attention and praise, but there are also people that want to see the bigger, popular films receive recognition too. There is value in the awards catering for a wide range of productions throughout the film industry, and that includes films that have been loved by the public, even if they are seen as overrated by film critics.
Diversity within the film industry is increasing, albeit there is still a long way to go to ensuring diversity within the whole industry of media and creativity. But it is increasing nonetheless, and not only in independent and smaller-budget films, but also with those films deemed 'popular'.
The Oscars ceremony is very much known for its political messages and for promoting freedom of expression. To be able to achieve that, all film categories should be considered and that should include those films that have received a larger backing from audiences, and are therefore have had a broader cultural influence.
Positive outcomes may well emerge from these changes, so rather than lashing out against them before even seeing them in action, let us be more open-minded to these new developments to the Academy Awards.
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