London: British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards will introduce a Best Casting Award category for films and TV shows.
This is first time since 1999 that a new category will be introduced at BAFTA. Back then, the category of Outstanding Debut was added to the awards ceremony.
The British Academy announced the news on Wednesday, reports hollywoodreporter.com, and the new addition makes BAFTA the first among all major film award ceremonies to honour the casting community.
"Casting is essential to the screen industries, and vital in terms of promoting diversity and inclusion on-screen. We hope this award will also help to promote an understanding of casting and look forward to seeing who will be the first winner in February," said BAFTA chair Pippa Harris.
The category will also be added at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards, which means this is the first time BAFTA has simultaneously introduced a category across its film and television segments.
BAFTA is also renaming the Original Music category to Original Score to underline a focus on composers and scores. Another tweak being made is for "Films Not in the English Language", which now includes a longer window of four weeks for non-English language films.
The Academy said there would be no change in eligibility rules regarding the theatrical release required for a film to qualify for the awards. This allows streamers such as Netflix and Amazon to compete.
The 2020 BAFTAs will be held on February 2. Nominations are announced in January.