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Oscars Reveals Brand-New Category to Be Added in 2026 Ceremony

The last time a new competitive category was added to the Academy Awards was Best Animated Feature Film in 2001

<p>Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty</p> Oscars

Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty

Oscars

A new Oscars category is being unveiled.

On Thursday, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed that Achievement in Casting will become a new competitive award category, beginning with 2026's 98th Academy Awards.

The last time a new competitive category was created for the Oscars was back in 2001 with the Best Animated Feature Film. (Shrek became the first to win that honor.)

"Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said in a statement.

“We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and for their commitment and diligence throughout this process."

Related: Lily Gladstone's High School Yearbook Said She Was 'Most Likely to Win an Oscar' Years Before Nomination

<p>Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty</p> Oscars

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty

Oscars

The new category's rules for voting and eligibility will be outlined in April 2025. According to a press release, the casting directors branch of the Academy was created in July 2013, and it includes nearly 160 members.

The casting directors branch's governors Richard Hicks, Kim Taylor-Coleman and Debra Zane said in a statement, “On behalf of the members of the Casting Directors Branch, we’d like to thank the Board of Governors, the Awards Committee and Academy leadership for their support. This award is a deserved acknowledgment of our casting directors’ exceptional talents and a testament to the dedicated efforts of our branch."

Other awards shows, like the U.K.'s BAFTA Awards and the television-spanning Emmy Awards, already give out awards for casting.

Back in 2018, the Oscars introduced a Best Popular Film category, though the Academy quickly walked it back and canceled the initiative. In 2022, the Oscars had two fan-voted categories: Fan Favorite and Oscars Cheer Moment.

This year's 96th annual Academy Awards will be held Sunday, March 10, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will air live on ABC. The show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, his fourth time in the gig. Oppenheimer leads the nominees with 13 total nods, followed by Poor Things with 11 and Killers of the Flower Moon with 10.

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