In February 2020, I was honoured and thankful when selected as chair of the ICDN. A task that I hope I will be up to, after taking over from a dear colleague, Beatrice Kruger, who gave so much to the ICDN, and who left the Board only after taking good care that we are an association standing on firm legal ground.
With excitement for the future of the ICDN, we are eager to build our network, as well as its content and activities, considering the cultural variety of our membership – something that we are very proud of!
We are here to demystify our profession, to make a difference, and be an important voice in the industry of film, TV and new media.
In this difficult moment on our planet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all need lots of strength and patience. When not immediately confronted by this virus’ terrible consequences, we might not take it all that seriously—but we should. (Keep in mind the example of Italy.) Stay home: it could save lives.
The ICDN is wishing good care for you, your families, and your loved ones.
President of the ICDN
2022-2024 Board of Directors
ICDN’s 2022-2024 Board of Directors was elected in February 2022, with Timka Grin (Bosnia & Herzegovina) continuing her role as President, Lana Veenker (USA) as Secretary and Anja Dihrberg (Germany) as Treasurer. Advisory Board Members include Jeremy Zimmermann (UK), Piotr Bartuszek (Poland), Lilia Hartmann Trapani (Italy), Sofia Dimopoulou (Greece), and newly-elected members Cassandra Han (Italy/Germany), Kristina Kolytė (Lithuania) and Florentina Bratfanof (Romania). Despite COVID restrictions, the majority of the board was able to meet at our Annual Assembly in Berlin on February 12th, 2022.
When three individual Casting Directors from Spain, the UK and Italy were invited to speak about Casting at a Forum in Germany in 1994, little did we know that this would be the first step to what was to become the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN).
Today, 25 years later and with over 90 members from 29 different countries, the overall ICDN goal continues to be what our colleagues in the US and UK have worked so hard to achieve: the recognition of the Casting Director as a Head of Department. Just as is the Costume Designer, the Director of Photography and the Art Director.
In order to achieve this goal, we need to be aware of and respect all our different cultures and histories, and how they may have conditioned us. This is an opportunity that you don’t get in an organisation that operates on a national level – to discover, grow together, make decisions and share responsibilities. And thereby to develop our very own ICDN identity: open, respectful and keen to collaborate with other countries and associations.
We look forward to working with you!
ICDN President 2018-2020
ICDN – the story so far
In 1994 film critic, former CEO of the NRW Film Foundation and later Director of the Berlin International Film Festival, Dieter Kosslick, invited international Casting Directors Debbie McWilliams (UK), Camilla Valentine Isola (ES) and Beatrice Kruger (IT) to the Media Forum in Cologne to speak about casting. The very first step towards what was later to become the International Casting Directors Network was taken.
Since then, we remained in touch, shared our experiences of casting in various countries, helped each other and started collaborating on co-productions.
As the Internet was not yet established, we met at the Berlin International Film Festival every year, in particular for the European Shooting Stars Awards, and this also started attracting more and more casting director colleagues from other countries.
In 2016, we decided to create a Best Casting award, presented for the first time at the Locarno Film Festival.
In the meantime, we also became independent of the EFP and founded the ICDN officially as an international non-profit organisation based in Berlin in 2019. We have a truly international board, currently consisting of 10 members. Our main focus is always to make our profession known in each of our members’ countries and promote the advantages of collaborating with a Casting Director to their respective directors and producers at film and TV festivals, film schools, theatre academies and industry events.
And now is a good moment for our profession, thanks to a few very important events, such as the recognition of a Casting Directors Branch at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the election of Casting Director David Rubin as the Academy President, and the new BAFTA for Best Casting.
As always, casting is both a blessing and at times a slightly more challenging blessing.
There is still a lot to do and together we can do it – step by step!