The Casting Directors’ Guild Announces Inaugural Casting Awards in 2019
The Casting Directors’ Guild (CDG) is delighted to announce plans for its inaugural CDG Awards to recognise the vital contribution that casting makes to the success of any production – TV, Film, Commercial or Theatre. Unveiled at an event on Wednesday 24 January 2018, attended by leading casting directors from across the entertainment industry, the announcement was presented by Casting Director Andy Pryor and actors Mark Gatiss, Jade Anouka, David Gyasi and Vanessa Kirby.
At the event, Andy Pryor – who is former chair of the CDG and member of the awards committee – commented: “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.
The Oscars, the BAFTAs & the RTS 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. 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.”
Mark Gatiss – an accomplished author, actor and playwright – added: “It’s become a bit of a cliché to say that casting is an underappreciated part of the business but it’s absolutely true. Finding the right mix of any production – the chemistry between the two leads, the strength of the ensemble, is vital to the success of all theatre, film and television productions.”
Actor Vanessa Kirby spoke passionately about the vital role that casting directors have played in her own and so many other’s careers: “I’ve always felt like it was a touch of magic. This abstract magical skill that I’ve never been able to fully understand. You see people, you see the truth of the person and fuse it with the black and white words on a page to bring something to life. We are nothing without you. I’ve grown in your presence, I’ve tried things out, I’ve learned, I’ve failed – I’ve spent more time with you than acting on set! This day is so important because it’s recognising the art of the alchemist and it’s also acknowledging all the lives that have been changed”.
Actors David Gyasi and Jade Anouka both reinforced this message with countless examples of how casting directors have been instrumental in their careers. David said “You are the people who change lives. I’m so thankful that we now have an opportunity where you can be recognised.”
Jade added “For those that see potential in an unknown actor and take a chance, to the ones that put in the time to see hours of theatre to find new talent, and for those that go the extra mile to make actors audition at their best – thank you. I’m honoured to be here at the launch of these awards and celebrate the people that give us a chance.”
Ben Seale, CEO of Spotlight, who are supporting the event, added: “Working with casting directors every day we see the effort that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the best talent is on our stages and screens. It is absolutely essential that their work is recognised within the industry, and at Spotlight we are delighted to be supporting the CDG in making that happen.”
The award categories will cover TV, Film, Commercials and Theatre. The first awards ceremony will take place in early 2019 and qualifying productions will have premiered between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.
Members of the Casting Directors’ Guild will submit productions for consideration, naming the Casting Director and where relevant, any credited Casting Associate and/or Casting Assistant. The CDG will vote to create a shortlist of productions in the four main categories to produce the final nominations. They will subsequently vote for the winner in each category.
To coincide with this announcement, The Casting Directors’ Guild released its inaugural Code of Conduct. Outlining the expectations for best practice amongst members of the CDG, the Code of Conduct is the first of its kind in the industry and offers a leading point of reference for members and the wider industry.
The Casting Director’s Guild online: https://www.thecdg.co.uk / @CDGNews
For more information, please contact:
Francesca Maguire, firstname.lastname@example.org / 07747 605971
Notes to editors:
The Casting Directors’ Guild is a professional organisation of Casting Directors in the film, television, theatre and commercials communities in the UK and Ireland who have joined together to further their common interests in establishing a recognised standard of professionalism in the industry, enhancing the stature of the profession, providing a free exchange of information and ideas, honouring the achievements of members and standardisation of working practices in the industry. The CDG upholds the highest ethical standards and advocates for the fair treatment of performers in the casting process.
Founded in 1927, Spotlight is a world-famous casting resource of over 60,000 professional performers and is used daily to cast hundreds of roles across stage, television, film, radio and commercials.
Andy trained as a Stage Manager at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. While Stage Managing at some of the UK’s top theatres, including the Royal Court and the Bush Theatre he further developed a long-standing knowledge and appreciation of actors and their work. After becoming Assistant Director at the Bush, where he oversaw casting for a year, Andy worked with Gail Stevens CDG for 5 years on some of the most successful and critically acclaimed Film and TV Drama of the 1990s, including Trainspotting, Cracker and Our Friends in the North. Since setting up Andy Pryor Casting in 1998, Andy has cast a diverse and exciting range of projects, including Life on Mars, I’m Alan Partridge, The Long Firm, Cutting It, Whitechapel, Upstairs Downstairs (for which he received an Emmy nomination), three series of Call the Midwife, Cucumber, Banana and Doctor Foster. In addition to casting shows for all of the UK’s major broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky), Andy has worked with some of the UK’s most celebrated screenwriters, including Paul Abbott, Peter Bowker, Russell T Davies, Peter Moffat and Heidi Thomas. Andy has also had a strong collaborative relationship with Stephen Poliakoff, having cast all of his work since Shooting the Past, including Perfect Strangers, The Lost Prince, Dancing on the Edge and the forthcoming Close to the Enemy. Andy has also cast several feature films, including Bent, Beautiful Thing, Glorious 39 and Gemma Bovery. Andy has also been Casting Director on Doctor Who since its hugely successful return in 2005 and to date has cast over 120 episodes and five Doctors.
Mark is an accomplished author, actor and playwright. Theatre work includes The Madness of King George (Nottingham Warehouse), The Boys in the Band (Park Theatre), Coriolanus, The Vote and The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse), Three Days in the Country and Seasons Greetings (National Theatre) and 55 Days (Hampstead Theatre).
His extensive television work includes three series of the award-winning comedy The League of Gentlemen. He became heavily involved in the post-television Doctor Who (1963) scene, having written a variety of novels and audio plays, together with a string of short supernatural/science-fiction films (most of which he appeared in). He also co-wrote three sketches for BBC2’s ‘Doctor Who Night’ in November 1999.
When Doctor Who (2005) was re-imagined by Russell T. Davies and returned to television, Gatiss became part of the writing team. He had another major success as the co-creator of Sherlock (2010) for the BBC with Steven Moffat and also stars in the series as Mycroft Holmes.
Jade is currently filming a series regular role in ITV project Clean Break opposite Sheridan Smith. She also recently completed Trauma starring Adrian Lester and was recently seen in the Old Vic two-hander Cover My Tracks. Jade starred in the Donmar Warehouse all-female Shakespeare Trilogy, playing the roles of Ariel in The Tempest, Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar and Hotspur in Henry IV directed by Phyllida Lloyd.
David is soon to appear as Achilles in the Netflix TV series Troy. His film work includes Annihilation, Interstellar, Cloud Atlas and The Dark Knight Rises. For television, he appeared in the two-part drama The Man in the Orange Shirt and White Heat, both for BBC2. He also starred as the lead role of Lex Carnahan in The CW miniseries Containment.
Vanessa is a stage, TV and film actress. She currently portrays Princess Margaret in the Netflix series The Crown, for which she has been nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress. She starred as Estella in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations in 2011 and Joanna in Richard Curtis’ romantic comedy About Time. Stage work includes Uncle Vanya (Almeida), A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic Theatre/St. Ann’s Warehouse New York) for which she won the 2015 Whatsonstage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, Edward II and Women Beware Women (National Theatre), Three Sister’s (Young Vic) and The Acid Test (Royal Court).