Earlier this week, Indiewire and the Film Society of Lincoln Center wrapped up their first-ever Critics Academy from the Locarno Film Festival. College-age critics were invited to apply for the opportunity to cover the festival for a variety of outlets, including this very blog. Eight critics from six different countries were eventually chosen to participate, and from my perspective as one of their editors, I thought they did an outstanding job, particularly in putting up with my endless, nagging emails.
The whole experience went so well that Indiewire and the FSLC are already doing it again, this time at the Film Society's New York Film Festival in September. In a blog post announcing this second Critics Academy, Indiewire senior film critic Eric Kohn says they'll be looking to select six college-age and aspiring critics who represent "a diverse group with a varied set of cinematic interests." On their eventual responsibilities and activities during the festival:
"Over the three weekends of the festival, participants will meet at the Film Society for candid discussions with noted critics (including members of the past and present NYFF selection committees) as well as other major figures of the international film community. On other days, they will attend festival screenings and events while writing on a regular basis for Indiewire's Criticwire blog, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's website and other outlets to be determined. Critics will work closely with Indiewire, Film Society and Film Comment staff."
Sounds good, no? You'll get to work closely with me! And that doesn't mean you'll fetch me my coffee. I mean, obviously; I'm a tea drinker. (Kidding.)
So how do you apply, yes? You'll need:
-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.
Send all of it to CRITICSACADEMY@FILMLINC.COM. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, September 4th.
To answer one question I'm sure you have: "college-age" doesn't necesarily mean 18-22. Our Locarno's Critics Academy included folks in their mid-to-late 20s. So if you're in grad school, or you're fresh out of grad school, or you're thinking about going back to grad school, or you have no interest in grad school whatsoever but could conceivably go if you wanted to, don't hesitate; definitely apply. And here's one piece of unsolicited advice: if you've written something you're proud of about one of the filmmakers featured in this year's NYFF lineup, it migh be wise to include that among your five clips. That's what I'd do if I was applying.
Remember to get your application in by September 4th. Good luck, and I look forward to working with the winners next month.
Read more of "A New Opportunity For College-Age Film Critics."