Oscars Introduce New Category, Debuts at 2026 Ceremony

A groundbreaking addition is on the horizon for the Oscars. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the inception of a new competitive category: ‘Achievement in Casting.’ This addition is set to make its debut at the 98th Academy Awards in 2026.

This development marks the first introduction of a new competitive category for the Oscars since the establishment of ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ back in 2001, with ‘Shrek’ clinching the inaugural win.

Bill Kramer, the CEO of the Academy and Janet Yang, the Academy President, expressed their enthusiasm for the inclusion of casting as a recognized and celebrated discipline in filmmaking. 

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They emphasised the indispensable role casting directors play in the industry and lauded the dedication and diligence of the Casting Directors Branch members.

Come April 2025, the Academy will outline the voting procedures and eligibility criteria for this new category. The Casting Directors Branch, established in July 2013 and boasting nearly 160 members, will see its efforts recognized with this prestigious acknowledgement.

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Governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman and Debra Zane, representing the Casting Directors Branch, conveyed their gratitude to the Board of Governors, the Awards Committee and Academy leadership for their support. 

They underscored that the introduction of this award is a well-deserved recognition of casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the relentless dedication of their branch.

-Sushmita Sarkar