Casting Guild of Australia casts its own heroes at awards

Casting directors provide the faces we love and push the careers of actors we admire. Here they vote on each other.
casual actors and crew lined up to celebrate All My Friends are Racist

Casting agents are a special breed with ninja skills that are both mysterious and far reaching. They are often the people who find the faces in the crowd that will one day glow from the Oscars stage.

I wish they had an annual list of performers they think are great but haven’t found a slot for. Or a special marketing cheer squad funded by the agencies to promote charismatic performers who are also diverse. Diverse in this context meaning ordinary looking people you see on the tram and immediately want to get to know like the crew in the photograph above.

The Casting Guild Awards will be held via Facebook on Saturday 20 November. At least the nominees can be sure their clients will be watching, even if they are in a condition so horrifying they would never work again if harried production executives knew what they did on a Saturday night. Hopeful contenders might want to mass email a list of remarks which should not go in comments.

There were a few people with double nominations.

  • Nikki Barrett did both The Furnace and Fires, (the joke is obvious);
  • Marianne Jade kept her sanity across Wakefield and Aftertaste;
  • Janine Snape went theatrical on Fun Home and The Lifespan of a Fact;
  • Kirsty McGregor made winsome choices in Frayed S2 and Fisk;
  • Nathan Lloyd had The Newsreader and All My Friends are Racist;
  • Lou Heesom combed the bars of Adelaide for Aftertaste and Mortal Kombat with little chance of crossover;
  • Alex Souvlis gave a Fun Home Grand Horizons;
  • Natalie Jan Harvie performed convincingly for TVCs Google X ‘Helping You Help Them and Dept Social Services, Disability Gateway;
  • Lucky Price desoggied Kellogg’s My Perfect Bowl: Corn Flakes and put out fires on NSW RFS: How Fireproof is Your Plan;
  • while Danny Long populated The Reality, The Stranger and Eden, really one series called The Reality of Strangers in Eden.

For all those puns I apologise humbly. If you are convinced by that, I know some gents at the gym who would make good superheroes and don’t do roids.

CGA President David Newman is quoted in the release reminding us that casting directors too have been tenacious through the pandemic. He went on to provide a sobering description of the pressures on actors under COVID:

‘We particularly want to thank the actors who have been on a very rocky roller coaster for the last 12 months; many getting roles only to lose them as they were unable to get to the shoot; actors who have spent untold days alone in quarantine – multiple times; and those who got stuck and couldn’t return home. We’re hoping the new normal will be much kinder to you moving forward.’

David Newman

Here is the list as presented by the Guild:

 Best Casting in A Feature Film 

  • High Ground – Anousha Zarkesh 
  • Nitram – Nikki Barrett, Alison Telford, Kate Leonard 
  • The Dry – Jane Norris 
  • The Furnace – Nikki Barrett 

Best Casting in a TV Drama, Telemovies & Miniseries 

  • Eden – Danny Long 
  • Fires – Nikki Barrett 
  • The Newsreader – Nathan Lloyd 
  • Wakefield – Marianne Jade 

Best Casting in a TV Comedy 

  • Aftertaste – Marianne Jade, Angela Heesom, Lou Heesom 
  • Fisk – Kirsty McGregor 
  • Frayed S2 – Kirsty McGregor 
  • Why Are You Like This – Amy Mete 

Best Casting in a Short Film 

  • The Reality – Danny Long 
  • The Stranger – Danny Long 
  • Tough – Daisy Hicks 
  • You and Me, Before and After – Stevie Ray 

Achievement in Casting 

  • All My Friends Are Racist (Web Series) – Nathan Lloyd 
  • Celebration Nation (Web Series) – Annabel Clayton 
  • Mortal Kombat – Angela Heesom, Lou Heesom 
  • The Bureau of Magical Things – Tom McSweeney, David Newman 

Best Casting in a Theatre Production 

  • Fun Home – Janine Snape, Alex Souvlis 
  • Grand Horizons – Alex Souvlis 
  • The Lifespan of a Fact – Janine Snape 

Best Casting in a TVC 

  • eBay – Daniella Friedman 
  • Flybuys ‘I Give A Flybuys’ – Amy Mete, Nick Hamon 
  • Google X ‘Helping You Help Them’ – Natalie Jane Harvie 
  • Lamb ‘Make Lamb, Not Walls’ – Leon Fryer 
  • Tylenol ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Anthem’ – Danny Long 
  • Worksafe – Mel Mackintosh 

Best Casting in a TVC – Community 

  • Dept Social Services, Disability Gateway – Natalie Jane Harvie 
  • DSS, Care and Support Sector – Daniella Friedman 
  • Kellogg’s My Perfect Bowl: Corn Flakes – Lucky Price 
  • NSW RFS: How Fireproof is Your Plan – Lucky Price 
  • Tourism & Events Queensland – Michelle Clancy 

For more information visit the Casting Guild of Australia.

David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.