Motion Picture Academy Creates Casting Category, First New Competitive Oscar Since 2001

The Casting Directors have finally got their Oscar.

After a decades long effort to establish a competitive Oscar for Casting Directors, it has finally paid off with the establishment of a new Oscar category for Achievement In Casting beginning with the 98th Annual Academy Awards for films released in 2025.

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This will be the first new category added to the Oscars since Best Animated Feature Film was created in 2001, and will bring the total back to 24 overall.

“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.”

“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. This award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch,” said Academy Casting Directors Branch governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman and Debra Zane. The Casting Directors Branch was created in July 2013. There are currently nearly 160 members of the branch.

It is ironic that Casting had not had their own category even though one of their most prominent members, David Rubin, had served as President of AMPAS for three years in the most recent terms before current President Janet Yang was elected in 2022.

Over the years there had been objections in some corners, particulary from some members of the Directors branch who felt the name Casting Director, as well as the nature of casting would be a conflict, not just with their name but also something in which they are significantly involved. That thinking has clearly been overcome now with this vote by the Board of Governors.

The Television Academy has long had Emmys for Casting Directors so this move by AMPAS seems overdue.
Category rules for eligibility and voting for the inaugural award will be announced in April 2025 with the complete 98th Academy Awards Rules. The specifics of the award’s presentation will be determined by the Academy’s Board of Governors and its administrative leadership at a future date.

Inevitably this development will likely encourage those behind also establishing a competitive category for stuntpersons to continue their well-publicized decades-long efforts too.

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