BAFTA's Casting Award Addition Draws Industry Praise

BAFTA Award - Getty - H 2017
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Both casting directors and actors hailed the move, with Richard E. Grant saying it was a "long time coming."

The British Academy's decision to include a casting honor at next year's BAFTA film and TV awards has been met with near universal praise from across the industry.

The news was unveiled Wednesday, making BAFTA the first major film awards ceremony to honor the casting community.

“We are thrilled at the news that BAFTA has introduced a category for casting in both their film and television Awards in 2020," said Victor Jenkins, chair of the Casting Directors' Guild. "The overwhelming industry support since the announcement alone shows just how important this news is to so many of us. We do what we do because we love actors, we love being part of the storytelling process, and above all else we are creative people."

Elsewhere, various casting directors, including Jen Euston (Glow, Orange Is the New Black, Girls), Shaheen Baig (Fighting With My Family, Hanna, Peaky Blinders), Priscilla John (Red Sparrow, Logan, Krypton), Simone Pereira Hind (Elizabeth), Erica S. Bream (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Jina Jay (Black Mirror, Bird Box, Star Wars: Rogue One), Sophie Holland (The Witcher), Kelly Valentine Hendry (Broadchurch, Harlots, Gangs of London) and Lucy Rands (World War Z, Ready Player One), tweeted their appreciation. 

Some of the biggest messages of support came from the those in front of the camera, including Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and Richard E. Grant, who picked up his first Academy nomination this year for Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

"Finally! - I owe my career to the late, great casting director Mary Selway, who changed my life in 1986, when she cast me in ‘WITHNAIL & I’," he tweeted. "Recognition for Casting Directors has been a long time coming."