Published on October 10th, 2012 | by Louis0
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).