Casting directors were over the moon about the creation of their own branch in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday.
This move — approved by the Board of Governors Tuesday night — gives casting directors the ability to vote in their own Board of Governors representatives and nominate their own for inclusion in the Academy. The Casting Branch is the organization's 17th branch.
"We're absolutely thrilled, all of us," Lora Kennedy, casting director on "Argo" told TheWrap.
She added, "Just so happy. It's a lovely validation to finally have our own branch."
"I am elated!" casting director of "Mean Girls" Marci Liroff (Left) told TheWrap. "My colleagues and I are finally being recognized by The Academy as an important part of the filmmaking team."
"It's fantastic and amazing for the future of casting directors," said John Papsidera, casting director of "The Dark Knight" trilogy. "It puts us on the map in a very different way. I think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the casting directors who campaigned for this for years."
“The Casting Society of America is tremendously grateful to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for acknowledging the vital contributions made by casting directors to film, Richard Hicks, president of the Casting Society of America said in a statement.
Hicks continued, "To be recognized with the creation of a Casting Branch is something the CSA has long worked for, and to be seen on a par with the other filmmaking crafts is both humbling and gratifying. Thank you, Academy."
Earlier this year, TheWrap did a roundtable interview with several prominent casting directors, each of whom made a strong case for the group to be recognized by the Academy.
"I don’t think we are ignored. But a lot of people don’t know what we do and the impact that we have on films," Terri Taylor, casting director on last year's "Hitchcock," said at the time. "I think it’s important that we start talking more so that people can understand the role that we play in getting a movie to the screen."
Also on the panel were Vicki Thomas ("Django Unchained"), John Papsidera ("The Dark Knight Rises"), Mary Vernieu ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Lora Kennedy ("Argo," "Cloud Atlas").
Here's the video of the discussion: