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Golden Globes: The HFPA Revises Rules, Makes Non-English Language and Animation Films Eligible for Best Motion Picture Award

Photo Credit: Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Los Angeles 2009, by ChildofMidnight, CC BY 3.0, Cropped

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) on Wednesday announced new eligibility rules that will be put in practice from the next edition of the Golden Globe Awards. In a step to “recognize diversity”, the association has now made foreign-language and animated films eligible for its top awards — Best Motion Picture in Drama and Musical or Comedy categories.

“Regardless of the next air date of the Golden Globes, both non-English language motion pictures and animated motion pictures will now be eligible for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy awards, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements (i.e. release in the Los Angeles area during the relevant eligibility period),” HFPA’s statement read.

“Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best,” said Ali Sar, President of the HFPA, in a statement.

The measure follows the flak that the journalists’ association received in December 2020 for moving the American film Minari from the Best Picture category to the Best Foreign Film category. The film had failed to meet the language criteria of having over 50% of its dialogue in English, as per the eligibility rules at the time. Several filmmakers, primarily of Asian descent, spoke out in favour of Minari, and criticised the HFPA for what they described as “antiquated rules”.

The association also came under fire in February when the Time’s Up organisation called out the HFPA for its lack of diversity and inclusion.

The HFPA’s statement on Wednesday also announced the renaming of the Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language award to Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language.

In February 2020, the Academy Awards renamed its Foreign Film category to the International Feature Film category to promote inclusivity. Parasite became the first film to win in this category.

The HFPA also continues to work towards structural changes after major studios like Amazon and Netflix distanced themselves from the association over concerns that it was not inclusive enough.

The HFPA’s statement added, “The majority of the membership has already completed diversity, equity and inclusion training sessions, and significant strides have already been made in restructuring the organisation. These changes include the passing of a revised code of ethical conduct prohibiting the acceptance of gifts and other inducements, the hiring of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advisors, and establishing a hotline allowing anyone to report an incident or allegation on an anonymous basis to be investigated by an independent firm.”

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