The Critics Academy started in 2012 as an initiative to help discover, foster, and support the next generation of film writers. A partnership of the critical magazine Film Comment and leading film news and industry website IndieWire, the Critics Academy is an experience that allows ten selected writers who are just starting out to attend the New York Film Festival, with the possibility of pitching their coverage to various outlets of their choosing.
The most intensive portion of the NYFF Critics Academy is the workshop, during which the participants take part in candid roundtable discussions both about the state of the craft and the business of writing itself, with established members of the industry, from working critics and editors to filmmakers to distributors and publicists. These discussions help shed light on both the creative process and the industrial realities of being a working writer. The participants then have the opportunity to connect with editors and publicists as they cover films and pitch them to outlets, from print to web.
Those who wish to be considered for participation in the program must go through an application process, which includes submitting writing samples and a statement of intent. It is recommended that all participants have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study or have no more than two years of experience as published writers of critical and/or journalistic content. Participants must demonstrate an interest in film criticism or journalism, as well as the ability to speak and write fluently in English.
Past Critics Academy participants have gone on to write for such publications as The Atlantic, Brooklyn Magazine, Film Comment, The Guardian, Huffington Post, L.A. Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, National Review, New Republic, New York Review of Books, Paper, The Paris Review, Remezcla, Reverse Shot, Vice, The Village Voice, Vulture, and more.