The purpose of the grouping is to identify a sizeable number of articles within the scope of this WikiProject which could be considered integral and essential to an encyclopedia, and to especially encourage editors to focus particularly on these articles for bringing up to featured status.
The project banner originally incorporated an "Importance" parameter that was optional for use in conjunction with quality assessments. While Importance was integrated into the WP 1.0 general assessments, there were several prominent WikiProjects which rejected the use of it for various reasons. Even the name was somewhat misleading, because the intended usage was for the WikiProjects to rank the article by their project priority. Therefore, it has been used with conflicting purposes to either identify the "general" importance of an article's subject or the priority of the article in relation to a WikiProject's goals.
In the case of certain fields like Mathematics, it is usually possible to come to a general and objective agreement as to the importance of mathematical concepts in relation to the entire field of Math. In these projects, importance/priority is somewhat straightforward and provides a logical hierarchy of topics within the project scope. Unfortunately, for WP Films, the vast majority of our articles happen to cover creative endeavors – individual films or film characters. Consequently, it is much more difficult to quantify how a film relates to the entire field, and since the judgments are fairly subjective, any given set of individuals will reach widely varying assessments.
Unsurprisingly, the usage of this parameter in WP Films led to several dilemmas. First of all, there were a substantial number of films which were assessed as "Top" importance by individual editors who were great fans of those films. While everyone's opinion of which films deserve this are different, it is generally acknowledged that too many films have been rated "Top" importance in this manner. Second, there are some editors who, fairly or not, judge a film to be less distinguished within the larger scheme, and thus rate particular films as "Low" or "No" importance. In this case, while most editors agree that the vast majority of our film articles should be on the lower end of the importance spectrum, it is difficult to agree which films deserve this assessment. However, while many editors are willing to turn a blind eye to films that they believe have been "overrated" to Top importance, assessing an article as Low or No importance is more often the source of disagreement, edit warring, and occasionally heated arguments. Third, a rough analysis of our statistics (as of January 2008) shows that the collective total of Top, High, and Mid importance articles amounts to less than 10% of our articles, and more than half have no importance assessment whatsoever. Lastly, there is no evidence whatsoever that editors are attracted to an article on the basis of its rated importance.
Given these factors, it was discussed by some of the more active editors that a multi-tiered priority scale was inefficient, making too much work and creating groupings such as Mid and Low importance which were not very useful within themselves. Among the conclusions was that it would make more sense to have a "core=yes" parameter which would only be applied to a small fraction of the articles, leaving the rest of the articles at a "normal" priority – essentially, scrapping the importance parameter altogether. Additionally, in order to maintain as objective a core list as possible and avoid undue individual editor influence, it is suggested that the core should be drawn from some form of aggregate lists and try to cover several different interests (namely, popularity and critical opinion, and a wide spectrum of years and countries). The list would also be kept to a relative minimum of several hundred articles, much like the general Wikipedia core.
Regional and national task forces – Each task force (including any future ones) will receive an additional 10 slots for Core. In the case of national cinemas, the next-highest picks from the TSPDT metalists will be taken first. (National task forces with less than ten films on the metalist will have their remaining slots held until a method of determining those picks can be decided.)
Genre task forces – each genre task force's ten slots will be taken from the top ten films of the IMDb genre lists which aren't already included on the Core list.
General task forces – For the task forces which don't cover film titles, the ten will represent the most basic and influential topics covered by the task force.
The Core list would be updated once a year, following the annual adjustment of the critical metalist. (This tends to occur in December or January.) The only exception shall be to add slots for new task forces. The list should be kept generally static so as to allow editors to focus on and develop off of a consistent set of articles. Because the Core was chosen from choosing lists rather than films, requests to include or exclude individual films should not be made. Suggestions regarding different lists are welcome, however.
Article numbering is for counting purposes only and does not reflect any ranking within this list.