Motion Picture Academy Creates New Branch For Casting Directors

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An election will be held in the fall to choose three members to sit on the board of governors.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a branch for casting directors, who long have argued that their contributions haven't been given proper recognition by the Oscar-granting organization.

Casting directors have been invited to join the Academy for more than 30 years, but without a branch of their own, many were admitted as members-at-large.

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The decision was approved at the Academy's board of governors meeting Tuesday night.

The Academy will hold a special election in the fall to select the three governors who will represent the new casting directors branch on the board.

In announcing the new branch, the Academy's newly elected president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said: "Casting directors play an essential role in the filmmaking process. Their inclusion on our board will only broaden our perspective and help ensure that the Academy continues to accurately reflect the state of filmmaking today."

Richard Hicks, president of the Casting Society of America, applauded the decision, saying: “The Casting Society of America is tremendously grateful to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for acknowledging the vital contributions made by casting directors to film. To be recognized with the creation of a casting branch is something the CSA has long worked for, and to be seen on a par with the other filmmaking crafts is both humbling and gratifying."