The Casting Society celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, just as the entertainment industry marks the diversity and authenticity of many film and television roles, from “CODA” and “West Side Story” to “Bridgerton.” .
In honor of the landmark, company executives hoped to hold an in-person ceremony for the Artios Awards, their annual event honoring the work of film, television and theater casting directors. But when Omicron’s push showed the pandemic wasn’t nearly over, CSA leadership realized it had to move to a remote ceremony.
“Our hope and desire was to be able to host this spectacular celebration in person,” said Kim Williams, vice president of casting at Disney Television Studios and president of CSA. “But we have decided for everyone’s health and safety that it is best to move to a virtual celebration, and we will be celebrating the culmination of our 40th, fingers crossed, if the pandemic is okay with us in the year next.”
The 37th annual Artios Awards will be held as a virtual ceremony on March 23. The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place on March 17, and according to Williams, the change was made to allow time for a larger event, as the original date was intended for a small members-only celebration.
The presenting partner of the Artios Awards is Casting Workbook, a company that helps provide casting software to productions. Founder and CEO Susan Fox was unable to reveal many details about the ceremony, including hosts or presenters. However, the red carpet will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Natasha Garguilo and Casting Workbook web series host “The Working Actor” Rodrigo Recio, and will begin at 2 p.m. PT. The ceremony itself begins at 5 a.m. and will be broadcast live around the world.
“It’s going to be released entirely on YouTube,” Fox says. “This will allow everyone to enjoy the entire pre-show or live stream the main event of the show on any device from anywhere in the world.”
This year, six of the top 10 Oscar-nominated films are up for the Artios Awards: “Don’t Look Up” in the big-budget comedy category; “The Power of the Dog,” “King Richard,” and “West Side Story” in big-budget dramas; and “Belfast” and “CODA” in studio or independent drama. The television categories feature several popular shows such as “Bridgerton”, “The Queen’s Gambit”, “Hacks” and “The Boys”, and include notable non-English language production in the hit French comedy “Call My Agent!”
The individual casting director with the most nominations is Kim Taylor-Coleman, who has five names for her work on “Zola,” “Lovecraft Country,” “P-Valley,” “Family Reunion,” and “Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan.” . She is closely followed by Sarah Halley Finn, with four nominations.
This year’s Artios Awards also include a new category, Virtual Theatre, which replaces the usual theater categories and online productions from theater companies from the 2020-21 season, when the pandemic made in-person theater impossible.
Nominated projects include Chance Theatre’s production of Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat”, La Femme Theatre’s benefit concert “The Night of the Iguana” and McCarter Theater Center’s free digital theater experience, “The Manic Monologues”. According to Williams, the choice to replace traditional theater categories was made to recognize the paths taken by theater casting directors to continue working under the difficult circumstances of the pandemic.
The Artios Awards are one of many events planned for the ASC’s 40th year. The organization will appear at several film festivals, host celebrations to honor notable members of its corps, and relaunch its podcast, which features episodes about its history and tributes to defining moments in television, film, theater and ads. This year-long celebration will culminate early next year with the 38th Artios Awards. Williams teases that this will hopefully be the grand celebration of the live show they wanted this year’s ceremony to be.
“We really can’t wait for everyone to join us and celebrate with us,” Williams said. “We’re really, really excited about it.”