New Oscars Category for 2026 Awards: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors unveiled a new accolade to their esteemed array of awards on Thursday morning, February 8, 2024.
This latest addition introduces a competitive Oscar category honoring the ‘best achievement in casting’. The inauguration of this category is slated to commence with the 2026 Academy Awards, spotlighting films released in the year 2025.
This marks the Academy’s inaugural category establishment since 2001, when the best animated feature film category was introduced. The Casting Directors Branch, inaugurated in July 2013, boasts a membership of nearly 160 individuals.
New Oscars Category for 2026 Awards
Preparations for the Oscars 2026 ‘best achievement in casting’ category are underway. Category guidelines for eligibility and voting for the premiere accolade will be disclosed in April 2025, coinciding with the release of the complete 98th Academy Awards regulations.
The particulars concerning the award’s presentation will be determined by the Academy’s Board of Governors and administrative leadership at a later juncture.
Expressing gratitude, Academy Casting Director Branch governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Colman, and Debra Zane issued a joint statement, acknowledging the backing received from the Board of Governors, the Awards Committee, and Academy leadership.
They underscored the award’s significance as a well-deserved recognition of casting directors’ exceptional aptitudes and a tribute to the unwavering dedication of the branch.
“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 award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch.” Kim Taylor-Colman, and Debra Zane said.
CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang of the Academy echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the pivotal role casting directors play in filmmaking.
They hailed the inclusion of casting as a discipline recognized and celebrated by the Academy, extending congratulations to Casting Directors Branch members for their commitment and diligence throughout the endeavor.
“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. We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and their commitment and diligence throughout this process.” Said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang.