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The Industry
Audience full of casting directors clapping

Image credit: Joanna Nicole Photography

Achievement in Casting Award to be added to the 98th Academy Awards to recognise the work of casting directors. 

Casting directors are one of the most integral roles in any production. Just think of all the iconic characters played by iconic actors that we’d never have if a casting director hadn’t recognised their talent and put them forward.

Historically, the role of the casting director has been overlooked, with few awards recognising their contribution. Recently, this has changed, with the Casting Directors’ Guild Casting Awards now being in its sixth year, and other awards, like the Emmys and BAFTAs, adding categories to celebrate casting directors. Now, one of the biggest and most prestigious award ceremonies in the industry has announced it too will introduce an award for casting. 

The Oscars will be adding a new, competitive award for Achievement in Casting. This award will have its first presentation at the 98th Annual Academy Awards for films released in 2025, and brings the total number of awards to 24.

“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 for their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”

This marks the first new award added since 2001, when the Animated Feature Film Award was introduced.

The introduction of this new award marks a monumental victory for casting directors, who have long been calling for more recognition for the pivotal role they play. The Oscars currently has awards celebrating the work of performers, directors, writers, cinematographers, editors, costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists, sound engineers, composers, production designers, and visual effects artists, so it’s about time they added casting directors to this list too.

We at Spotlight know how hard casting directors work, and we’re thrilled that this will now be acknowledged by the Oscars. Our MD, Matt Hood, had this to say:

“We’re delighted to see the news that after tireless campaigning, the art of casting will finally be recognised by the Academy.

The impact of the work of casting is profound. No Oscar-winning movie (until now!) received its well-deserved acclaim without being touched by the genius of casting. A profession as creative as art direction, as visual as cinematography, as expressive as the script, as key to the box office as special effects, casting is a true craft.

This award will remind audiences and the industry of the irreplaceable role of the casting team in a project’s artistic and commercial success. As the home of casting for almost 100 years, Spotlight will continue to celebrate and champion this unique profession, loudly and proudly!”

More information about this award, including details on the voting system and eligibility, will be announced in April 2025.

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