Eight finalists have been selected to take part in the second annual New York Film Festival Critics Academy. The program, co-organized by Indiewire and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is a workshop for aspiring film critics that takes place during NYFF (September 27 – October 13). Critics Academy is designed to nurture promising film critics and journalists who will attend and cover screenings over the duration of the festival, which opens Friday with Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips.

From now through mid-October, participants will join mentor sessions with noted critics, working journalists, filmmakers and members of the film industry in addition to writers and editors from Film Comment Magazine. Their work will be published on FilmLinc.com, Indiewire‘s Criticwire blog, and other outlets.

The eight people taking part in this year’s NYFF Critics Academy are: Greg Cwik, Diana Drumm, Judith Dry, Vanessa Erazo, Shelley Farmer, Mark E. Lukenbill, Gus Reed and Graham Winfrey.

“The Critics Academy is one part our broader strategy aimed at bolstering cinema culture,” said Eugene Hernandez, Director of Digital Strategy. “In the past year, the we have invested in both the expansion of FilmComment.com and in expanding our own editorial platform, FilmLinc Daily. Amidst changes in the business of journalism, we are committed to creating engaging content about film and this year the Critics Academy program returns to the New York Film Festival to mentor young critics and share their work with our online audience.”

Critics Academy began two years ago as an initiative at the Locarno Film Festival. Participants are given the chance to experience covering cinema in a deadline-driven environment, which can prove an invaluable experience to begin a career in film criticism.

The Critics Academy is one of two educational initiatives set to take place during NYFF. Artist Academy aims to shepherd young filmmakers who show promise behind the camera.