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The work of the casting director has received increased attention in the industry this year, with the Academy's long-demanded creation of a casting directors' branch prompting many to suggest that they should have a competitive category at the Oscars too. Coincidentally, the British Independent Film Awards fed into that conversation last week, taking an unusual step by nominating two films' casting directors alongside a composer, a sound designer and an editor for their all-purpose Technical Achievement Award. Until a Best Casting Oscar is created -- if, indeed, one ever is -- the Casting Society of America's Artios Awards will remain the discipline's highest honor.
Given their placement in the calendar, the awards straddle the cinematic output of late 2012 and early 2013, with the former, unsurprisingly, getting most of the attention. The only film from this year to be recognized was Jeff Nichols' acclaimed spring indie "Mud," which won in the Studio or Independent Feature (Drama) category. Among the film it beat were two other 2013 releases: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "The Company You Keep."
Beyond that, it's a 2012 Oscar flashback all the way, with "Argo" besting "Lincoln," "Life of Pi," "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty" in the Big Budget (Drama) category -- just as it did to the Best Picture Oscar. "Silver Linings Playbook," which earned a quartet of acting nominations and won for Jennifer Lawrence -- already a pretty good reflection on the casting director's work -- took the corresponding comedy award.
Other films rewarded were "The Sessions," "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Moonrise Kingdom," while the TV categories were dominated by such established awards-hoggers as "Homeland," "House of Cards" and Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra." Nice to see "Girls," which has always struck me as particularly deft in the casting department, take a prize too.
Full list of TV and film winners below:
Best Casting in a Big Budget Feature – Comedy
“Silver Linings Playbook,” Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham, Diane Heery (location casting), Jason Loftus (location casting)
Best Casting in a Big Budget Feature – Drama
“Argo,” Lora Kennedy
Best Casting in a Studio or Independent Feature – Comedy
“Moonrise Kingdom,” Douglas Aibel, Henry Russell Bergstein (associate)
Best Casting in a Studio or Independent Feature – Drama
“Mud,” Francine Maisler, Diana Guthrie (location casting)
Best Casting in a Low Budget Feature – Comedy or Drama
“The Sessions,” Ronnie Yeskel
Best Casting in an Animated Feature
“Wreck-It Ralph,” Jamie Sparer Roberts
Best Casting in a Short Film
“The Learning Curve,” Kendra Patterson
Best Casting in a Television Pilot -- Comedy
“The Mindy Project,” Felicia Fasano
Best Casting in a Television Pilot -- Drama
“House of Cards,” Laray Mayfield
Best Casting in a Television Series -- Comedy
“Girls,” Jennifer Euston
Best Casting in a Television Series -- Drama
“Homeland,” Judy Henderson, Lisa Mae Fincannon (location casting), Craig Fincannon (location casting)
Best Casting in a Television Movie or Mini Series
“Behind the Candelabra,” Carmen Cuba, Wittney Horton (associate)
Best Casting in a Daytime Drama Series
“The Young and the Restless,” Judy Blye Wilson
Best Casting in a Children’s Series
“iCarly,” Krisha Bullock, Jennifer K.M. Treadwell (associate)
Best Casting in Television Animation
“Family Guy,” Linda Lamontagne
Career Achievement Award
Hoyt Bowers Award
New York Apple Award
Michael J. Fox
Everything: Academy Awards
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