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Casting Directors to Receive Long Overdue Oscar Category in 2026

Casting Networks

Decades of casting directors calling for representation at the Academy Awards paid off as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor casting with a new Oscar category in 2026.

“Every film that wins an Oscar has a casting director or team who brings its characters to life, searching for the right actors in the right combination to achieve a vision and make movie magic. As a company, we are privileged to watch casting directors do this skilled and artful work every day. We are delighted that their invaluable contributions are finally being recognized on our industry’s largest stage,” said Alex Amin, Co-CEO, Talent Systems.

The new award will recognize achievement in casting for films released in 2025 and beyond. It will be the first new category added to the ceremony since 2001, when Best Animated Feature Film became part of the program.

“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 a joint statement. “We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and for their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”

The inaugural trophy will be presented at the 98th Academy Awards, upping the total number of Oscar categories to 24.

“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 in a joint statement.

The rules for eligibility and voting for the new category will be announced in April 2025 as part of the 98th Academy Awards rules. The Academy’s board of governors and administrative leadership will determine the award’s presentation at a future date.

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