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Awards launched to honour casting directors

Casting director Andy Pryor Casting director Andy Pryor is on the the CDG Awards committes and has said his peers had “remained unrecognised”
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An awards ceremony specifically to honour the work of casting directors is being launched.

The CDG Awards is being created by the Casting Directors’ Guild and will recognise casting directors in theatre, as well as television, film and commercials.

Casting director Andy Pryor, who is on the awards committee, said his peers had “remained unrecognised” at major awards ceremonies.

“The Oscars, BAFTAs and the Royal Television Society Awards have to date refused to acknowledge the discipline, despite all of them giving awards to other essential collaborative departments. Many believe that casting is overlooked during awards season due to the ‘unseen’ nature of a casting director’s work,” he said.

But he added: “All film, television drama, theatre and commercials rely heavily upon the quality of its casting and casting directors are the vanguard of the quest for new talent and, particularly in recent times, the push for inclusiveness.”

The first awards will take place in early 2019 and were announced at a launch event, which was attended by actors including Mark Gatiss, in central London on January 24.

Gatiss praised the initiative and said casting had been the “Cinderella of the entertainment industry” for too long. He added that little attention had been paid to “the vital and by no means simple task of finding the right person, the right mix, the right chemistry for stage, television and film”.

Also supporting the awards is casting service Spotlight. Its chief executive Ben Seale said it was “absolutely essential” that the work of casting directors was recognised.

Qualifying productions for the inaugural awards will have been staged between September 1, 2017 and August 31 this year.

Members of the guild will be able to nominate productions for consideration, naming the casting director and any assistants, with a shortlist created in each of the four mediums. They will then vote for a winner in each.

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