CDG News


BIFA lead the way in the UK with recognition of Casting as an awards category

The British Independent Film Awards is set for a significant overhaul ahead of its 2017 ceremony.

Replacing the catch-all outstanding achievement in craft category will be nine separate awards representing different craft disciplines.

They will be: casting, cinematography, costume design, editing, make-up and hair design, music, production design, sound and effects.

BIFA top brass hope that the new system will be “better placed to recognise the wealth of exceptional British talent behind the camera”.

The additions will see the total number of awards categories grow from 19 to 27, including three honorary awards.

At the two most recent editions of the ceremony, the outstanding achievement in craft award had feted Andrew Whitehurst, VFX supervisor on Ex Machina, in 2015, and Robbie Ryan, cinematographer on American Honey, who won last year [pictured]. It was originally introduced in 2001 as the Best Technical Achievement prize.

New system explained:
Entries will be open between May 29 and September 1. The new categories will have long-list nominees selected by groups of 30-40 voters who are largely comprised of film professionals from craft disciplines.

Two rounds of voting, one in late September and one in mid-October, will narrow the long-lists to seven-15 films per category. The final lists will be narrowed down further to three-five films per category, before the nominations are revealed in early November.

The 2017 BIFA Awards will take place on December 10. The event is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Last year’s BIFAs crowned Andrea Arnold’s American Honey as the big winner on the night. The 2016 edition also saw debuts for the best debut screenwriter and breakthrough producer awards.

This article was first published in Screen Daily and can be viewed here.


The role of a Casting Director on Radio 4’s Front Row

Victor Jenkins and Lucinda Syson talk to Kirsty Lang about the role of a Casting Director on Radio 4’s Front Row …

Casting directors Lucinda Syson has cast Hollywood blockbusters including Gravity, Batman Begins and the new Wonder Woman, and Victor Jenkins who was responsible for pairing Olivia Colman and David Tennant in Broadchurch as well as working on Humans, Episodes and Grantchester.


It is with great sadness that we have to report two of our great Casting Directors passed away on Sunday evening (19th February 2017). They were CDG members Maggie Lunn and Doreen Jones. Both died peacefully surrounded by loved ones. They will be greatly missed by us all. We are all grateful for the incredible contribution to casting they both made over the years.

Malcolm Drury

It is our sad duty to report that Malcolm Drury died on Saturday 3 September at home, he had not been well since the beginning of this year. Malcolm was one of the first Casting Directors to join the CDG in 1997 and had an incredible career, mainly in TV, where he worked on some of the most popular TV programmes of the time including Heartbeat, The Bill, Darling Buds of May, The New Statesman and Beiderbecke. He was also of course Head of Casting at Yorkshire TV.

He will always be remembered with great fondness here at the CDG.


Finding a twin for Lenny Henry: a casting director’s take on Shakespeare

Casting Shakespeare is a complex business. Casting directors work with the play’s director, trying to get inside their head as they get to grips with the play. Some directors have a very clear idea of what they’re after, or have a particular actor in mind – you’re not going to do Hamlet without knowing who your Hamlet is, the same with King Lear. But other directors might be more open to ideas and want us in the casting department to help prompt them. You’re trying to respond to what their concept is, and make it come alive.