Motion Picture Academy Elects Casting Director David Rubin Its New President

By Patrick Hipes, Pete Hammond

David Rubin AMPAS

David Rubin, a veteran casting director and Academy board governor, has been elected the next president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after a vote Tuesday evening. He will take over for current president John Bailey, who is terming out after two years in the top position.

AMPAS presidents can be elected to four one-year terms, but as is the case with Bailey, if they have been on the board for a total of nine years, they are termed out and have to take a year off before running again.

The Academy’s board of governors also elected its officers for 2019-2020 tonight: Lois Burwell, First Vice President (chair, Awards and Events Committee); Sid Ganis, Vice President (chair, Museum Committee); Larry Karaszewski, Vice President (chair, Preservation and History Committee); Nancy Utley, Vice President (chair, Education and Outreach Committee); Mark Johnson, Treasurer (chair, Finance Committee); and Bonnie Arnold, Secretary (chair, Membership and Governance Committee).

Rubin, who becomes the first casting director to lead the Academy, is beginning his first term as president and his seventh year as a governor representing the Casting Directors branch, the most recent branch to be formed at the organization. Burwell, Ganis, Karaszewski and Utley were re-elected to their posts, while Arnold and Johnson were elected to officer positions for the first time.

Rubin won his Emmys for casting 2012 Sarah Palin pic Game Change and last year for Big Little Lies, and is up again this year for casting HBO’s Sharp Objects. His many film credits include The English Patient, Men in Black, Hairspray, Lars and the Real Girl, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Get Shorty, My Best Friend’s Wedding, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Fried Green Tomatoes, Trumbo, Wild, Gravity, Cold Mountain, My Cousin Vinny and Days of Thunder.

The board of the Casting Society of America said in a statement: “David Rubin is an accomplished and award-winning casting director, and his election to president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a testament to his leadership, vision and passion for the craft, as well as the larger impact casting has in film. The Casting Society of America congratulates its member David, as well as AMPAS, and we know he will be a successful and effective president.”

Going into tonight sources inside the Oscar organizer said only Rubin and Burwell had put their names in for contention for the presidency. Some dark horse candidates had been bandied about at various times including Actors Branch governor Laura Dern, who was heavily speculated to run in 2017 but in the end did not. Deadline had also heard the names of past president Ganis, Utley and longtime board member Jeffrey Kurland from the Costume Designers branch.

Rubin actually ran two years ago but was beaten by Bailey, whose name came up during the meeting as a surprise alternative. He garnered extra support from the crafts branches and became the first cinematographer in Academy history to serve as president.

Among the issues facing Rubin when he takes over include the ever-evolving Oscars, from choosing a producer for the 92nd edition set for February 9, 2020, to deciding whether it will go hostless again (this year’s Academy Awards went without one and improved its ratings by 12% from the previous all-time low of the 90th ceremony). He also will help spearhead the continuing drive toward parity and diversity in the membership, and likely will preside over the expected opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, now planned to debut in 2020.

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