Marion Dougherty made some of the most beloved Hollywood legends-- James Dean, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close. But you probably haven’t heard of her. Casting By pieces together a 50 year history of typically female casting directors in the entertainment industry and the legacy of revolutionary women who made big talents soar, while they themselves were left unrewarded. The film takes us on a fast-paced journey through the last half century of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective. Pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite tastes and gut instincts helped to put the final nail in the coffin of the old studio system and usher in the New Hollywood. Afforded the unprecedented freedom and power through the new medium of television, they broke away from traditional type casting and brought actors like Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, and Gene Hackman to the big screen. In Casting By, Director Tom Donahue combines more than 230 interviews and archival footage to tell the unheard of history of this female-dominated profession and its pioneers whose important work led to Hollywood as we know it.

On the heels of the film’s HBO release, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created a casting branch. In 2015, The Emmys unanimously awarded the film’s subject Marion Dougherty a lifetime achievement award. In 2017, The Oscars awarded the film’s subject Lynn Stalmaster the Governors Award - the first time in Academy history that a casting director received an Oscar.

  • Legislation based on this film has been proposed to Congress in 2018 under Congressman Seth Moulton as the H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This would require an addressing of PTSD issues and the creation of mental health services in all sectors of the military. Read more here

  • Winner of Gracie Award for Outstanding Documentary of the Year from the National Alliance of Women in Media.  

  • Nominated for an Emmy Award and nominated for Best Documentary by the National Board of Review.