Casting Directors Finally Get the Oscars Category They Richly Deserve
At long last, the Oscars have added a category for one of the most crucial jobs there is on a film set—casting director.
The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this wonderful surprise on Thursday morning, confirming that the first new competitive category in the Oscars in two decades since the Academy added Best Animated Feature Film in 2001 belonged to casting directors. The Best Achievement in Casting category will officially begin at the 98th Academy Awards for films released in 2025.
“Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang. “We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”
“On behalf of the members of the Casting Directors Branch, we’d like to thank the Board of Governors, the Awards Committee, and Academy leadership for their support,” said Academy Casting Director Branch governors Kim Taylor-Colman and Richard Hicks. “This award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch.”
The rules for eligibility and voting for the Best Achievement in Casting award will be announced in April 2025, along with the rules for the entire 98th Academy Awards. The Academy’s Board of Governors and its administrative leaders will decide on the specifics of the award’s presentation.
Proper recognition for casting directors began in the late 1990s, but there’s been a groundswell of support in recent years as it’s become harder and harder to justify why the people who help make the most important decisions about a film haven’t been recognized. This year’s crop of Oscar-nominated films offers yet more irrefutable proof of how crucial casting directors are to a film’s success, whether it’s Ellen Lewis and Rene Haynes doing historic casting calls in Oklahoma for Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon or Allison Jones and Lucy Bevan populating Barbie Land, some of the most beloved films of the year boasted stellar ensemble casts that relied primarily on the talent of the people who search, spot, and nurture talent.
Now their work will get the recognition it has so richly deserved.
For some of our favorite interviews with casting directors, check out these stories:
Featured image: Caption: (L-r) ANA CRUZ KAYNE as Barbie, SHARON ROONEY as Barbie, ALEXANDRA SHIPP as Barbie, MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie, HARI NEF as Barbie and EMMA MACKEY as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “BARBIE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures