Arts castingby4

Published on October 10th, 2012 | by Louis


NYFF 2012 Documentary Spotlight: Casting By

Cast­ing By is a doc­u­men­tary film aim­ing to shed light up­on the world of movie cast­ing and track the evo­lu­tion of the Cast­ing Di­rec­tor (a con­tro­ver­sial term ad­dressed in the film) through time. It fo­cus­es the sto­ry on one of the most in­flu­en­tial Cast­ing Di­rec­tors in Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion and movie de­vel­op­ment, Mar­i­on Dougher­ty, and her role in not on­ly chang­ing the way in which movies are cast, but in find­ing and nur­tur­ing some of the finest act­ing tal­ents in many of their most icon­ic roles.

Told through the thoughts of Mar­i­on her­self, her peers and her col­leagues, the film makes a point of cham­pi­oning the work of the Cast­ing Di­rec­tor and the im­por­tance of their role. It’s a fight against in­dus­try and pub­lic per­cep­tions, as there is no Acade­my Award for cast­ing and the film ti­tle ac­cen­tu­ates the in­dus­try ret­i­cence to con­fer the ti­tle of ‘Di­rec­tor’, pre­fer­ring to cred­it cast­ing as ‘Cast­ing By…’. As a re­sult, di­rec­tor Tom Don­ahue builds a nice bal­ance of ex­plor­ing the world of cast­ing, the jour­neys of those who ei­ther cast or are cast, and the in­dus­try con­flicts in rec­og­niz­ing the im­por­tance of the cast­ing agen­cy.

Cast­ing By is an in­ter­est­ing and en­gag­ing piece of work which should find a nice home in the New York Film Fes­ti­val’s ‘Cin­e­ma Re­flect­ed’ side­bar, and with enough ex­po­sure, can help ed­u­cate the wider pub­lic to some of the cul­ture and be­hav­ior be­hind the ap­point­ment of ac­tors such as Clint East­wood, Al Pa­ci­no and a cast of oth­er Hol­ly­wood heavy­weights. While not es­sen­tial view­ing, it is re­ward­ing, en­ter­tain­ing and cer­tain­ly worth its 89 minute run time.

Cast­ing By is show­ing on Oc­to­ber 12, 1.15pm and 6.30pm, at The 50th New York Film Fes­ti­val. Tick­ets are $20 (dis­count­ed tick­ets avail­able for mem­bers).

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