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Attention, Aspiring Film Critics: Apply Now For the 4th Annual Locarno Critics Academy

Attention, Aspiring Film Critics: Apply Now For the 4th Annual Locarno Critics Academy

Four years ago, Indiewire began a fruitful partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Locarno International Film Festival to help enterprising young writers find their role in the current climate for film criticism and journalism. The Locarno Critics Academy is an immersive 10-day experience for 10 promising critics — four of whom will be selected by the Swiss Alliance of Film Journalists — to attend one of the oldest festivals in the world and cover its contents.

We’re excited to announce the call for applications to the latest edition.

Applications will be accepted between now and May 22. Travel expenses as well as noon and evening meals will be at the participants’ expense. Indiewire may assist with a share of the travel expenses depending on the participant’s country of origin. The selected candidates will be informed by e-mail by June 8, 2015.

It may be harder today to find a job as a film critic than ever before — but was it ever easy? Being a passionate advocate for great cinema takes more than professional competence; it’s a way of life. In today’s crowded marketplace, we need critics to bring a curatorial perspective to contemporary film culture. Fortunately, while the media landscape continues to change, criticism flourishes all over the place — on small blogs and journals as well as internationally-renowned publications, in video essays and podcasts. New voices and sensibilities crop up from every direction. Film criticism, in other words, continues to diversify along with the medium of film itself.

The Critics Academy is designed to support that progress. In addition to Indiewire, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment, support comes from the Swiss Federal Office of
Culture (FOC), the Swiss Association of Film Journalists (SVFJ), the
Centre for Publishing in the Arts of the Zurich University of the Arts
(ZHdK) and Recent alumni have gone on to work at publications including Sight & Sound, New York magazine, Variety and elsewhere, while remaining active in the film community.

Participants spend the first half of the festival engaging in candid, off-the-record roundtable discussions with working critics as well as other members of the industry to bring additional context to their work. They spend the second half of the festival working on deadline for several publications, including Indiewire’s Criticwire blog, Film Comment and the festival’s Pardo Live newsletter. (In the fall, the Film Society hosts a similar workshop for New York area residents during the New York Film Festival.) At Locarno, participants will work closely with me as well as the Film Society’s Eugene Hernandez. They will also engage in activities associated with the rest of the Locarno Summer Academy initiatives, including its Filmmakers and Industry Academies.

While there is no specific age limit on applications, the ideal candidates have completed at least two years of college or have completed their academic studies no more than five years ago. Applicants should demonstrate a genuine interest in film criticism and journalism as a career goal. We want to be able to assess your enthusiasm for this opportunity as well as your writing competence and the strength of your voice.

Your application must include a completed version of this form as well as the following ingredients:

Motivational letter (300 words or less): Tell us who you are and why you’re interested in this particular opportunity. You have a limited amount of space, so don’t waste it. If you have produced any work beyond written criticism (such as podcasts or video essays), we encourage you to mention it here.

Curriculum Vitae (1 page): The most recent version of your resume.

3 Articles/Film Reviews Written in English (Swiss participants may submit articles in German, French or Italian): Show us your ability to write about movies. Please refrain from including lengthy academic papers or other scholarly materials that may not give us an accurate reflection of your capacity to succeed in this workshop.

Please send the individual components of your application as a series of attachments by May 22 to Giulia Fazioli at

You may also reach out to me with any questions surrounding the application process at

The Critics Academy is organized in collaboration with Indiewire, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York, Film Comment, the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (FOC), the Swiss Association of Film Journalists (SVFJ), the Centre for Publishing in the Arts of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and

READ MORE: Indiewire and Film Comment Announce Finalists for 2014 NYFF Critics Academy

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