History Made! Oscars Create First New Award in 23 Years: Best Casting!

Finally! Casting directors get their due after over two decades. The Oscars add "Achievement in Casting" Award for 2026 ceremony. Will your favorite film director win? Details inside!

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The Oscars reveal a brand-new category to be added at the 2026 ceremony.

A new Oscar category is being introduced.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors announced on Thursday that Achievement in Casting would be a new competitive award category beginning with the 98th Academy Awards in 2026.

The Oscars last added a new competitive category, Best Animated Feature Film, in 2001. (Shrek became the first to get this accolade.)

“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 President Janet Yang said in a statement.

History Made! Oscars Create First New Award In 23 Years Best Casting!
History Made! Oscars Create First New Award in 23 Years Best Casting!

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

The new category’s voting and eligibility regulations will be released in April 2025. According to a news release, the Academy’s casting directors section was established in July 2013 and currently has over 160 members.

The casting directors branch’s governors, Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman, and Debra Zane, stated in a statement, “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 honor is a well-deserved recognition of our casting directors’ remarkable abilities, as well as a testimonial to our branch’s tireless work.”

Other award ceremonies, such as the BAFTA honors in the United Kingdom and the Emmy Awards for television, already have casting honors.
In 2018, the Oscars created a Best Popular Film category, however, the Academy immediately reversed course and scrapped the project. In 2022, the Oscars featured two fan-voted categories: Fan Favorite and Oscars Cheer Moments.

The 96th Academy Awards will be place Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be broadcast live on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel will host the show for the fourth time. Oppenheimer had the most nominations, with 13, followed by Poor Things (11), and Killers of the Flower Moon (10).

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