Earlier this year, Indiewire announced a partnership with the Locarno Film Festival, the Swiss Association of Film Journalists and the Film Society of Lincoln Center to run a workshop for aspiring film critics. Now, we're even more delighted to announce their names.
We were overwhelmed by the response to our initial call for applications, which resulted in 80 candidates from over a dozen countries. The quality of work and passion for a range of cinema illustrated the
enthusiasm of a new generation critics driven to find their way. It was an incredible challenge to narrow down the selection to a mere eight names (two of whom were exclusively selected by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists and the Federal Office of Culture of Switzerland).
We hope to create more initiatives along these lines in the near future. (Stay tuned for more details about a similar workshop for New York-based film critics to take place during the New York Film Festival.) In the meantime, our Criticwire Network and Matt Singer's accompanying blog continue to help critics find exposure for their work and a community to keep the discussions about their craft — and about movies, of course — alive.
Our participants hail from six different countries and a variety of educational backgrounds. Their interests range from mainstream Hollywood cinema to European auteurs and the avant-garde. Some of them
have written extensively for blogs, hosted podcasts and even launched their own publications. Others are just starting out but have already demonstrated tremendous potential with their early critical writings.
During the festival, which runs August 1 – 11, the participants in the Critics Academy will write about various films and events on a daily basis. For its initial five days, they will meet regularly with me and
Eugene Hernandez, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's director of digital strategy and a co-founder of Indiewire, to discuss challenges faced by working critics. They will also meet with other established critics and members of the international film community.
Look for more details about the participants in the Critics Academy in the coming days. For now, we are pleased to announce the names and nationalities for the eight finalists below.
Beatrice Behn (Germany)
Zeba Blay (USA)
Adam Cook (Canada)
Marc Menichini (Switzerland)
Michael Nordine (USA)
Claudia Piwecki (Switzerland)
Ari Gunnar Thorsteinsson (Iceland)
Giovanni Vimercati (Italy)