LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences surprised the film industry by announcing the addition of a new competitive Oscar category for best achievement in casting. This decision marks the first new category created by the Academy since 2001 for best animated feature film. The new casting category will debut at the 98th annual ceremony for films released in 2025.
The creation of the new category reflects the evolving landscape of the film industry and the Academy’s commitment to recognizing the contributions of casting directors to the filmmaking process. The Casting Directors Branch, which was formed in July 2013 and boasts nearly 160 members, has long advocated for the inclusion of casting in the Academy’s recognition and celebration of filmmaking disciplines.
According to Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang, “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.” Their sentiment was echoed by the Academy Casting Director Branch governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Colman, and Debra Zane, who expressed gratitude for the support and acknowledged the award as a well-deserved acknowledgment of casting directors’ exceptional talents.
The recognition of casting directors has been a longstanding point of discussion within the industry, with efforts dating back to the late 1990s to add casting to the Oscars ceremony. This move by the Academy marks a significant milestone in the journey towards recognizing the vital role of casting in the filmmaking process.
The addition of the new casting category follows the recent creation of the Production and Technology Branch by the Academy, which comprises key technical and production positions in all phases of filmmaking, from pre- to post-production in Hollywood. These developments reflect the Academy’s efforts to adapt to the changing landscape of the film industry and recognize the diverse talents and contributions that make cinematic storytelling possible.
As the film industry continues to evolve, the Academy’s expansion of its award categories serves as a testament to its commitment to celebrating the multifaceted talents and contributions that bring stories to life on the big screen. The 96th Oscars, where the new casting category will debut, are set to be held on Sunday, March 10.