Online Film Critics Society

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics

OFCS Awards Rules

2015 OFCS Awards Rules (updated Aug. 31, 2015)

Rule One: Awards Definitions

  1. The Online Film Critics Society’s annual awards are given honoring outstanding achievements in theatrically released feature-length motion pictures and to honor other achievements as provided for in these rules.
  2. Nominations and awards will be conferred in each of the following categories:
    • Best Picture
    • Best Animated Feature
    • Best Director
    • Best Lead Actor
    • Best Lead Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Supporting Actress
    • Best Original Screenplay
    • Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Best Editing
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Film Not in the English Language
    • Best Documentary
    • Best Non-U.S. Releases
  3. Special Achievement Awards will be handed out at such times as the membership feels such a reward is deserved.

Rule Two: Eligibility

  1. Feature-length films are defined as being over 40 minutes in length.
  2. Films must be publicly exhibited for a minimum of seven days in a theater within the New York City or Los Angeles areas during the eligibility period.
  3. The required Los Angeles or New York City qualifying run must begin between January 1, 2015, and midnight of December 31, 2015.
  4. Films that are shown first on broadcast or cable television, direct-to-video or over the internet will not be eligible.
  5. Films released inside the United States prior to the Los Angeles or New York qualifying run will be eligible if public exhibition occurs no earlier than January 1, 2014 (previews and festivals excluded).
  6. Each picture may have only one Los Angeles or New York City qualifying run. The earliest theatrical exhibition that meets such definition shall be designated the picture’s qualifying run.
  7. Awards recipients must be those credited onscreen or through special exemption from the Online Film Critics Society. The OFCS reserves the right to select which names will and will not receive nominations and/or awards.
  8. All films, regardless of country of origin, are eligible for awards consideration if they meet all other rules listed in this document.

Rule Three: Voting Timetable

  1. Balloting will follow the prescribed format and timeframe.
  2. The balloting timeline for awards honoring the best film achievements of 2015 is as follows.
    • Final Screening Deadline: Friday, December 4, 2015
    • Phase One: Monday November 16, 2015 through Saturday December 5, 2015
    • Nominations Announced: Monday December 7, 2015
    • Phase Two: Monday December 7, 2015 through Saturday December 12, 2015
    • Winners Announced: Monday December 14, 2015
  3. Phase One: Each member of the OFCS will submit a ballot of not more than 5 films in Best Picture, 10 films in Best Non-U.S. Release, and 3 achievements in each of the other categories. These ballots will be ranked in order of preference assigning the highest rank to the voter’s top choice and the lowest rank to their bottom choice. Voting in this phase is mandatory. See Rule Four for specifics on tabulation.
  4. Phase Two: After nominations have been announced, a list of nominees will be sent to the OFCS membership. Each member will rank the nominees in order of preference assigning the highest number to their top choice and the lowest number to their least choice. Voting in this phase is mandatory. See Rule Four for specifics on tabulation.

Rule Four: Balloting & Tabulation

  1. Voting on all achievements shall be restricted to active OFCS members.
  2. Voting will be conducted via e-mail and other tools necessary to accurately track votes.
  3. See Rule Six for the maximum number of nominations in each category.
  4. Each film on Phase One and Phase Two ballots will be ranked in order of preference with points equal to the category’s maximum number of entries and decreasing by one for each successive entry on the ballot (for specifics, see the table below).
  5. For Best Non-U.S. Release, all submissions made during Phase One are submitted to the full membership during Phase Two. Members will have an option of voting “Yes” or “No” for the film’s inclusion on the final Best Non-U.S. Release list. The films with the highest quantity of “Yes” votes will be placed on the alphabetical list of the year’s Best Non-U.S. Release.
  6. For a film to be nominated in any category except Best Non-U.S. Release, it must receive at least three (3) first-place votes during Phase One balloting.
  7. Nominations and winners will be determined based on the total number of points assigned by all members.
10 Positions 5 Positions 3 Positions
  • 1st Place – 10 Points
  • 2nd Place – 9 Points
  • 3rd Place – 8 Points
  • 4th Place – 7 Points
  • 5th Place – 6 Points
  • 6th Place – 5 Points
  • 7th Place – 4 Points
  • 8th Place – 3 Points
  • 9th Place – 2 Points
  • 10th Place – 1 Point
  • 1st Place – 5 Points
  • 2nd Place – 4 Points
  • 3rd Place – 3 Points
  • 4th Place – 2 Points
  • 5th Place – 1 Point
  • 1st Place – 3 Points
  • 2nd Place – 2 Points
  • 3rd Place – 1 Point
  • Rule Five: Rules for Special Awards

    1. A maximum of three Special Awards may be given out each year.
    2. Suggestions for Special Awards will be made during Phase One of balloting.
    3. Special Awards will not be permitted if a category for such an award already exists.
    4. Suggestions for Special Awards will be listed on Phase Two ballots where members will either vote for or against each Special Award nomination.
    5. Only those Special Award nominations that receive a majority of affirmative votes are eligible for a Special Award.
    6. If there are three or fewer Special Award nominees that receive more than 50% of the vote, all Special Award nominees will be honored. If there are more than three, the three highest vote recipients will be awarded Special Awards.
    7. In the case of a tie, all tied Special Award nominees will be placed on the Phase Three ballot and voters will be asked to rank the tied Special Award nominees in order of preference. The Special Award nominees with the highest point totals will fill out the remaining three Special Awards slots. If another tie occurs then none of the tied Special Award nominees will be honored.

    Rule Six: Individual Category Rules

    Best Picture

    • Number of Nominees: 10
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category.

    Best Animated Feature

    • Number of Nominees: 5 for 2015 (3 or 5 nominations, negotiated per year)
    • Eligibility: At least 75% of all characters in the film must be animated and animation must figure in to at least 75% of the film’s running time.

    Best Director

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category.

    Best Lead Actor

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Whether a performance is lead or supporting is determined by the voting member. Studios, celebrities or publicists may not dictate the placement of an actor in one category or the other.

    Best Lead Actress

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Whether a performance is lead or supporting is determined by the voting member. Studios, celebrities or publicists may not dictate the placement of an actor in one category or the other.

    Best Supporting Actor

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Whether a performance is lead or supporting is determined by the voting member. Studios, celebrities or publicists may not dictate the placement of an actor in one category or the other.

    Best Supporting Actress

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Whether a performance is lead or supporting is determined by the voting member. Studios, celebrities or publicists may not dictate the placement of an actor in one category or the other.

    Best Original Screenplay

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Only screenplays written directly for the screen and not based on characters or stories previously produced or published are eligible for this award.

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category. Only films based on material previously published or produced are eligible for this award. News articles are acceptable if a single article or story does not account for more than 35% of the film’s source material.

    Best Editing

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category.

    Best Cinematography

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: All features eligible for awards are eligible for this category.

    Best Film Not in the English Language

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: 75% of all dialogue in a film must be of a language other than English to qualify for this award.

    Best Documentary

    • Number of Nominees: 5
    • Eligibility: Only films which document actual events or situations through use of filmed interviews or archived footage and with limited event reenactments are eligible for this award. Fictionalized or narrative documents are not eligible.

    Best Non-U.S. Releases

    • Number of Nominees: see Eligiblity
    • Eligibility: Only films released theatrically in non-U.S. territories are eligible for this award. Films must have been released within the current eligibility period in the country of origin and may not have been shown commercially in the United States during the same or prior eligibility periods. This category may have ten titles listed in an alphabetical list of the best non-U.S. releases of the year. If there is a tie in balloting for this category, a maximum of fifteen films may be listed in this category. If the category would have more than 15 nominees, the tie will be broken in favor of fewer than ten nominees, but no less than eight.
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