A new Oscars award for Best Casting will be introduced from the year 2026.
The announcement was made by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Science on February 9, 2024.
The new award is the latest addition to the current 23 Oscars awards since Best Animated Feature was added in 2002.
It will be noted that casting directors have been campaigning in recent years to be recognized as every other film craft like sound, costume, hair and make-up, considerable that they play a huge role in the success of a film, and are involved in the filming process right from the very start. They are in charge of hiring A-list stars who will front a film as well as the performers who appear in smaller roles.
“Casting Directors play an essential role in filmmaking. As the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate. We congratulate our casting directors branch members on this exciting milestone and for their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”
There were also campaigns by stunt performers and the Academy attempt to introduce Popular Film category, though both have been unsuccessful thus far.
The Popular Film category was meant to accommodate films that have been successful at the box office but were less likely to be nominated in the traditional categories, such as summer blockbusters and superhero franchises.
The move however was criticized by many high-profile industry who believed such a category would dilute the prestige and integrity of the Oscars.
Instead, the Academy a few years later experimented with a ‘fan favourite' prize, a viewer vote that was not strictly a formal Oscars category.
It was won by Zack Synder's Army of the Dead, but was not repeated the following year.
Responding to the announcement, the three governors of the Academy's casting directors branch, Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman and Debra Zane, commended the Academy noting, “this award is a deserved acknowledgement of our casting directors' exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch.”
This year's Oscars awarded to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel will hold on March 10, 2024.