Oscars introduce first new award in 24 years

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Oscars introduce first new award in 24 yearsGetty Images

The Academy Awards has confirmed the creation of a brand new award for the first time in 24 years.

Announcing the news earlier this week (Thursday, February 9), the Academy has revealed it has created a category to honour the best achievement in casting.

The category will debut at the 98th Oscars ceremony in 2026, with films being released in 2025 onwards being eligible for consideration. In a statement on the news, Academy bosses praised the "essential role" of casting directors in filmmaking.

"Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognise and celebrate," Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said.

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

Responding to the news the Academy Casting Directors Branch said the award was a "deserved acknowledgment" of casting directors' "exceptional" talents.

"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," said Academy Casting Directors Branch governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman and Debra Zane.

"This award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors' exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch."

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Specifics regarding the category rules for eligibility and voting will be announced in April 2025, with further details to be announced at a later date.

There are currently 23 categories, with the most recent addition being the category for 'Best Animated Feature Film' which was established in 2001.

Meanwhile, this year's Oscars ceremony will take place next month. Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer leads the way with 13 nominations, followed by Poor Things with 11 nominations and Killers of the Flower Moon on 10.

The 96th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 10 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It will be broadcast on ITV in the UK.

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