The winners are...Casting Directors, on the Oscar awards list for the first time

In this Feb. 4, 2019, file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In this Feb. 4, 2019, file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. Copyright Danny Moloshok/2019 Invision
By Greta Ruffino
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Good news for casting directors! From 2026, they will be eligible to receive Oscar awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will from 2026 start presenting an Oscar for casting.  This marks the first new Oscar category since it introduced Best Animated Feature in 2002, which was announced in 2001.

"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 in an announcement. 

For years, casting directors have advocated for this category, emphasizing its vital role in a film's success. However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, responsible for the Oscars, had previously dismissed the notion. 

Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, and Jamie Lee Curtis pose with their awards at the Oscars on March 12, 2023, in Los Angeles.
Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, and Jamie Lee Curtis pose with their awards at the Oscars on March 12, 2023, in Los Angeles.Jordan Strauss/Invision

Currently, 23 awards are presented during the ceremony, although the most popular are the so-called "Big Five" awards - those for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

In 2013, the Academy established a branch specifically for casting directors, which now includes over 150 members.

Category rules for eligibility and voting for the first casting award will be revealed in April 2025 along with all the rules for the 98th Academy Awards and will include movies starting from 2025.

The 96th Oscars ceremony, airing on ABC, will to take place on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

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