The Oscars adds category for casting directors: ‘About time’

The Academy Awards is introducing an Oscar for casting – the first new category in more than 20 years, the ceremony’s governing organization announced Thursday. 

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Oscars will recognize achievement in casting for films released in 2025 and beyond. 

This is the first time the academy has added a category since an award for best animated feature film was established 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," Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said in a joint statement.


A display case is seen full of Oscar statues February 20, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

On February 9, actors and filmmakers praised the introduction of the new category. 

"The fact that this wasn’t a thing is absolutely insane," Ron Melendez, an actor who has appeared in films and television series including "American Horror Story" and "The Young and the Restless," said on Instagram. "These talented artists are integral to the shows and films they are involved in. Essential. A good one can elevate any project… #AboutTime." 

The casting directors' branch was created in July 2013 and currently has nearly 160 members. The move puts the Oscars in line with some other awards shows, including the Emmys and the BAFTAs.

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"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.

What is a casting director?

According to, the job of a casting director is to collaborate with producers, directors, and network and studio executives to cast the best talent for each role. They work to help bring the vision of projects to life with their casting choices.

The first statuette will be presented starting with the 98th Academy Awards in 2026.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this story.