Interview: Tom Donahue, Kate Kiley & Ilan Arboleda on ‘Casting By’ and Oscar’s Casting Category

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In September 2012, Casting By premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. What began as a look at the incredible, underdiscussed career of legendary casting director Marion Dougherty evolved into a film that advocated strongly for the recognition of a role critical to the success of any film. Now, the Oscars have officially added a new category: one for casting that will finally highly the people responsible for finding the right actors to populate a rich and effective ensemble.

I had the chance to speak with director Tom Donahue and producers Kate Kiley and Ilan Arboleda about what went into their film, what has changed in the industry since then, and how they reacted to the news of the Oscars adding this new honor that they’ve thought should have been cited for many years now.

You can watch the video above, and read below for an official summary and where to watch.

Film summary:

Casting By places the spotlight on one of filmmaking’s unsung heroes – casting director Marion Dougherty – and takes us on a journey through 50 years of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective. Pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts helped to put the final nail in the coffin of the old studio system and usher in the ‘New Hollywood’ with movies like Midnight CowboyThe GraduateButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Bonnie and Clyde. In the process they launching the careers of James Dean, Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty, Gene Hackman, Glenn Close, John Travolta, Jeff Bridges, Bette Midler and countless other iconic actors. In this illuminating documentary, directors and actors including Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Diane Lane, Jon Voight, Bette Midler and John Travolta share stories and memories from their early careers, all interwoven with rarely seen clips as well as scenes from classics like The StingGoodfellasAnnie HallThe Great Escape and West Side Story.

Check out more of Abe Friedtanzer’s articles.

Casting By is currently available on demand via Apple TV or Prime Video.

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