Oscars to introduce its first new category since 2001

Casting directors are some of the most important creatives in entertainment but have never been celebrated as such on Hollywood’s biggest night. Starting next year, however, that all changes.

The Oscars will add a new award to recognize achievement in casting for films released in 2025 and beyond, the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Thursday.

Not counting the short-lived “popular film Oscar” which never came to be, this is the first time the academy has added a category since best animated feature film was established in 2001.

Oscar trophies are prepared backstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Oscar trophies are prepared backstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

“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,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said in a joint statement.

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The casting directors’ branch was created in July 2013 and currently has nearly 160 members.

“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 in a statement.

The first statuette will be given out at the 98th Academy Awards in 2026.

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Casting directors, and stunt performers, have long lobbied for an Oscar category to recognize their specific contributions to film. But for now, the stunts will have to wait.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Oscars introducing first new category in over 20 years

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