Screen Daily

UK Casting Directors’ Guild to launch awards ceremony in 2019

The Casting Directors’ Guild (CDG), the UK and Ireland organisation of casting directors in film, TV, theatre and advertising, is launching its own awards ceremony.

The CDG Awards will run for the first time in 2019, it was unveiled this evening (Jan 24) at an event in London by casting director Andy Pryor with actors Mark Gatiss, Jade Anouka, David Gyasi and Vanessa Kirby.

The event is being set up as a direct response to the perceived lack of recognition for casting professionals at the major awards ceremonies.

 Last year, the British Independent Film Awards splintered its wide-reaching Outstanding Achievement in Craft award into nine separate categories, including a prize for casting, (won by Sarah Crowe for The Death Of Stalin) but the majority of major awards ceremonies including the Oscars or the Baftas do not have awards for casting directors (beyond honorary prizes).

“Casting is crucial to the success of any production, yet apart from the Emmys in the US and this year the first dedicated award for casting at the BIFAs, this craft has remained unrecognised in major awards categories,” noted Andy Pryor, former chair of the CDG and a member of the new awards committee.

“Many believe that casting is overlooked during awards season due to the “unseen” nature of a casting director’s work. Much of what we do happens, for obvious reasons in private, away from film sets and rehearsal rooms. Yet all film, television drama, theatre and commercials rely heavily upon the quality of its casting and Casting Directors are at the vanguard of the quest for new talent and particularly in recent times, the push for inclusiveness,” he added.

The first CDG ceremony will take place in early 2019 and will have categories covering film, TV, advertising and theatre. Qualifying productions will have premiered in cinemas between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018 (this detail is still being finalised).

Members of the Casting Awards Guild will submit productions for consideration and will then be eligible to vote for both longlists and shortlists for each category.

Mark Gatiss, presenting the announcement, said: “Casting has long been the Cinderella of the entertainment industry with far too little attention 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. Well, now it’s time to go to the ball!”

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