'Casting By' Trailer: Casting Directors (Finally) Get Their Due (Exclusive)

Documentary chronicles casting directors' struggle for recognition through the eyes of celebrities they discovered.

"Everything was shifting in American culture. People wanted something different," says the late casting director, Marion Dougherty, in this exclusive trailer for Tom Donahue's new documentary, Casting By.

The documentary puts the spotlight on an unsung hero of the entertainment industry -- the casting director. They sit through audition after audition, looking for that mix of talent, looks and charisma to fill roles in countless films and television shows. Some of their choices became iconic, and the directors help launch legendary careers, as evidenced by the testimonies of actors like Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, and many more who got their big break by impressing the likes of Dougherty and others.

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"She owned that position of casting. She was it," says Pacino in the trailer.

Dougherty, the central subject of the documentary, died in December 2011 and is credited with giving Warren Beatty, Robert Duvall and Jon Voight their first roles. She was the first casting director in history to receive single-card screen credit. When she got into the casting profession, one of the first actors she cast was James Dean.

The documentary tells the story of how the casting profession developed from an uncredited production job to one of the most important roles in the business, with Dougherty leading the way. Interviews with legendary actors and actresses and notable casting directors are interspersed with archival footage to give a complete picture of the casting profession and its importance in the entertainment industry.

As Dougherty reveals in the trailer, "Hollywood had no idea what casting was all about."

Casting By premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.