The New York Film Festival looms with the 51st edition opening in just over two months on September 27. And for the second time, the Critics Academy will return to mentor aspiring film writers. Beginning September 23, a select group of six to eight participants will engage in roundtable discussions and workshops and then will hone their skills by covering NYFF51. The program is part of an ongoing initiative launched last year at the 2012 Locarno Film Festival and produced by Indiewire and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. It will once again return to Locarno next month with its second annual Critics Academy there.

The second edition of the NYFF Critics Academy is now accepting applications. Spearheaded by Indiewire critic Eric Kohn and Film Society staff, selected participants will engage in candid discussions with working critics, distributors, filmmakers and others directly impacted by their work to bring a greater context to its ongoing relevance. They will then provide written work for Indiewire's Criticwire blog (part of its Criticwire Network), the Film Society of Lincoln Center's FilmLinc Daily, and other outlets to be arranged closer to the event. Film Comment magazine will also play a role in the workshop.

The deadline for applying is Friday, August 9. Accepted critics will be notified by September 1. Emphasis will be placed on a diversity of voices, backgrounds and cinematic interests.

“The Film Society continues to innovate with its multiple ways of impacting contemporary film culture—from festivals to first-run theaters and various educational initiatives, including this one,” noted Indiewire's Eric Kohn. “We couldn't ask for a better partner in the task of continuing to assure that New York's vibrant film culture continues to benefit from talented critics willing to take advantage of the cinematic riches it has to offer.”

Application details and requirements follow:

Applicants must have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study or no more than two years of experience creating critical and/or journalistic content about movies. They must showcase a demonstrable interest in film criticism and/or film journalism as well as the ability to speak and write fluently in English. They must also live in New York City or the greater New York area. 

Applications must include the following:
    •    CV: A basic, one-page resume
    •    Five writing samples about film. These can take the form of film reviews, scholarly papers, blog posts, college newspaper clips, podcasts or any other work that you think demonstrates your skills.
    •    A 500-word statement of intent. Tell us about your background and why you would make an ideal candidate for the Critics Academy. Make sure to note any particular interests (genres, national cinemas, etc.). Passion, strong writing skills and a deep knowledge of film history matter more than overall professional experience.
Please send applications to:

Questions? Please contact Eric Kohn at