Oscars announce new award for best casting

General view of Oscars statues are seen at the 92nd Academy Awards Nominees

Academy Awards organizers have announced plans to introduce a new competitive category for Best Casting, which is expected to start at the 2026 ceremony.

This is the 1st addition to the ceremony’s competitive categories since the inclusion of Best Animated Feature in 2002.

This news follows several years of advocating by Casting directors for recognition of other film crafts like sound, costume, hair, and make-up.

Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang expressed pride in expanding the disciplines recognized and celebrated by the Academy, extending congratulations to casting directors for their dedication throughout the process.

Despite recent efforts to update the Oscars ceremony to maintain viewer interest, the new category won’t be implemented until 2026 due to the advanced planning involved in awards campaigns.

The Oscars currently awards 23 categories, however, it appears the public is mainly interested in the major prizes such as best picture, the acting categories and best director.

Casting directors are among the earliest staff to be involved in new film projects, playing a key role in shaping major Hollywood films.

They are in charge of hiring A-list stars who will front a film as well as the performers who appear in smaller roles.

Stunt performers have also been campaigning for their own category at the Academy Awards, but have not yet been successful.

Responses to the news of the casting category have been much warmer than those of the popular film category, which the Oscars attempted to introduce in 2018.

The proposed prize was a populist move designed to recognise films that had been successful at the box office but were less likely to be nominated in the traditional categories, such as summer blockbusters and superhero franchises.

However, the move prompted criticism, as many high-profile industry figures said such a category would dilute the prestige and integrity of the Oscars.