The Academy Awards organisers have announced the introduction of a new Oscar category for best casting, set to debut at the 2026 ceremony. This marks the first addition to the competitive categories since Best Animated Feature was included in 2002.
Casting directors have long campaigned for recognition comparable to other filmmaking disciplines like sound, costume, hair, and makeup. The Academy’s decision reflects an acknowledgement of the crucial role casting directors play in the filmmaking process.
Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang expressed their pride in recognising casting as an essential element of filmmaking.
Despite efforts to streamline the Oscar ceremony, which often exceeds its scheduled three-hour duration, the addition of the casting category demonstrates the Academy’s commitment to honouring all aspects of filmmaking.
Casting directors are among the first professionals involved in a film project, responsible for selecting both lead and supporting actors. While casting directors celebrate the news of their category’s inclusion, stunt performers continue to campaign for their recognition at the Oscars.
The Academy has attempted in recent years to reduce the Oscar ceremony in an attempt to maintain spectator interest, but the decision has been made. The performance frequently goes much beyond its allotted three hours.