Film at Lincoln Center and Film Comment magazine announce a call for entries for the eighth Critics Academy, the annual workshop for aspiring film critics, taking place during the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).

The Critics Academy nurtures promising writers and provides a valuable platform to launch their writing. It was started in 2012 at the Locarno Film Festival and subsequently produced for the New York Film Festival that year. The program, originally designed in collaboration with IndieWire, continues to emphasize the importance of diversity in the world of film criticism, supporting and nurturing women and writers of color, though its purview remains expansive and all-inclusive. Past participants have gone on to write for a wide range of print and online publications, including The Atlantic, Brooklyn Magazine, Film Comment, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, IndieWire, L.A. Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, National Review, New Republic, The New York Review of Books, Paper magazine, The Paris Review, Remezcla, Reverse Shot, Slant, Vice, The Village Voice, and Vulture, and some have become involved in film programming and publicity.

For the 2019 edition, 10 selected critics will again have the opportunity to attend NYFF press screenings and cover the festival in a variety of ways, from quick-turnaround film reviews to more in-depth articles and interviews for potential publication on Film Comment and beyond. Participants will partake in candid roundtable discussions with working critics and other members of the industry to put their work in context, and have the opportunity to workshop their writing in one-on-one sessions with editors from Film Comment. Past guest speakers have included Melissa Anderson, Ina Diane Archer, Richard Brody, Teo Bugbee,  Andrew Chan, Ashley Clark, K. Austin Collins, Ed Gonzalez, Mark Harris, Molly Haskell, Eric Hynes, Kent Jones, Eric Kohn, Dennis Lim, Aliza Ma, Wesley Morris, Mekado Murphy, Sheila O’Malley, Nick Pinkerton, B. Ruby Rich, Alison Willmore, Farihah Zaman, and many others.

“Every year we are inspired by the level of quality and dedication of the critics who come through this program, and every year it gives us increased hope for the future of film criticism,” says Michael Koresky, a longtime contributor to Film Comment and Critics Academy Organizer and Mentor. “Historically, film criticism has not been a particularly diverse field, and we hope that this program helps change that, even if incrementally. Getting to know many of these young critics, professionally and personally, continues to be a great privilege for me.”

Though the New York Film Festival Critics Academy is open to applicants outside the New York area, it unfortunately cannot provide travel or housing for the duration of the festival. While there is no specific age limit for applicants, the ideal candidate should have completed at least two years of college or concluded academic studies no more than five years ago.

Update: The application process is now closed.

Accepted critics will be notified the week of August 26th. Emphasis will be placed on strength of writing and a diversity of voices, backgrounds, and film interests.

Organized by Michael Koresky with assistance from Brian Brooks. Eugene Hernandez (FLC Deputy Director) and Christine L. Mendoza (FLC Director of Education) serve as advisors. 

Requirements: 
Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of undergraduate study or have no more than two years of experience creating critical and/or journalistic content about movies. They must demonstrate an interest in film criticism and/or film journalism as well as the ability to speak and write fluently in English.

Applications must include the following:

  • CV: A basic, one-page resume
  • Three articles or film reviews written in English. The critic should refrain from including lengthy academic papers or other scholarly materials that may not give an accurate reflection of the applicant’s capacity to succeed in this workshop. 
  • One sample of another writer’s piece of critical writing that the critic finds particularly compelling, intelligent, or provocative, with a short paragraph explaining why.
  • An approximately 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 note that all Critics Academy members will be expected to take part in scheduled workshops from 2 – 5pm at Lincoln Center on Monday, September 23rd; Monday, September 30th; and Monday, October 7th. In addition, press screenings and events will be scheduled before and throughout this time. 

Please send applications to criticsacademy@filmlinc.org.

Film at Lincoln Center is committed to fostering the next generation of filmmakers, critics, and industry professionals working in the world of cinema. With academies during the New York Film Festival and throughout the year, FLC builds new audiences and continues to advance New York’s vibrant film culture. For more information on these initiatives, visit filmlinc.org/filmmaker-initiatives.