And the Oscar goes to… Casting Directors

Casting Directors, please stand up as starting in 2026 - the academy will include a new competitive Oscar category for best achievement in casting.

By: Taylor Fox February 8, 2024 Entertainment

Casting Directors, prepare to take center stage, for the Academy is ushering in a new era with a competitive Oscar category spotlighting excellence in casting, kicking off in 2026!

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced a new competitive Oscar category recognizing excellence in casting. Beginning with the 98th annual ceremony, which will honor films released in 2025, this category aims to highlight the pivotal role of casting in filmmaking.

This marks the first new category introduced by the Academy since the inception of the Best Animated Feature Film Award in 2001. The Casting Directors Branch, established in July 2013 with nearly 160 members, has long advocated for this acknowledgment.

The campaign for recognition of casting directors traces back to the late 1990s, although it faced limited support at that time. Introducing this new category signifies a shift in attitudes toward acknowledging the indispensable contributions of casting directors.

Governors of the Academy’s Casting Director Branch, namely Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Colman, and Debra Zane, have expressed gratitude to the Board of Governors, the Awards Committee, and Academy leadership for their support. They perceive this award as a well-deserved recognition of casting directors’ exceptional talents and the diligent efforts of their branch.

In March 2023, the Academy established the Production and Technology Branch, which encompasses key technical and production roles across all stages of filmmaking. This initiative further broadens the scope of recognition within the industry, ensuring that every individual involved in the filmmaking process receives due credit.

The 96th Academy Awards, also referred to as ‘The Oscars, ‘ takes place on March 10, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. EDT at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

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