Film academy elects casting director as new president

David Rubin and Lynn Stalmaster arriving at the 89th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA.
David Rubin and Lynn Stalmaster arriving at the 89th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA.

An award-winning casting director has been elected the 35th president of the film academy, the organisation has announced.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences – the body behind the Oscars – said David Rubin will replace outgoing president John Bailey.

The appointment was made following a meeting of the group’s 54-member board of governors, including Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg and Laura Dern, on Tuesday.

Emmy-winning Rubin is the first casting director to hold the position of academy president and is charged with overseeing the direction of the venerable institution.

He has more than 100 film and television credits, according to the organisation, including The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley and Four Weddings And A Funeral.

A president is able to serve up to three consecutive one-year terms.

Rubin takes on the role during a time of flux for the academy, as it seeks to diversify in the post-#MeToo era.

Last year’s Oscars were not without controversy and the organisation was criticised for announcing the creation of a best popular film award, only to scrap the plan weeks later following a backlash.

And the proposed host for the telecast, US comedian Kevin Hart, dropped out amid controversy over homophobic tweets posted many years previously.

The programme, in February, was without a host for the first time in 30 years.

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