How to Apply to the Online Film Critics Society
Want to become a member of the oldest and most prominent organization for online film critics? First, please review the “Membership Applications” section of our bylaws (included below) before placing your application. The link to the application is listed at the bottom of this page. The application process has changed since previous years and it’s important that you read through the guidelines and make sure that you meet the minimum requirements before applying.
Membership in the OFCS is open to all film critics whose work meets the organization’s standards of quality, and whose primary media affiliation is an online publication (including, but not limited to, websites, Internet magazines, blogs, and newsgroups).
No writer will be denied membership in the OFCS on the basis of race, religion, ethnic heritage, gender, sexual orientation, education status, profession or professional affiliation, political affiliation, physical disability, age, appearance, veteran status, place of residence, language, or membership in other critics groups. Furthermore, no person will be denied membership for being affiliated with an online entity that already has writers or editors in the OFCS.
However, membership will not be extended to the following:
Writers whose primary media affiliation is a print publication, or radio or television.
Writers whose online work was originally contracted for print publication and is only being republished online; or broadcast journalists whose radio or television broadcasts are only being republished online.
No one may apply for OFCS membership on behalf of someone else. Potential OFCS members must apply directly, of their own accord.
The following criteria must be met before membership may be offered:
Applicant must show at least two years of experience in the field (as of January 1 of the current application period), with indications of ongoing work.
Applicant must show at least 100 published film reviews. Reviews of current theatrical releases, older films, DVD and Blu-ray releases, and TV shows qualify. Reviews must be written and at least 400 words in length (only reviews posted prior to January 1 of the current application period will be counted).
Applicant must have, or write for, a website of professional quality.
Applicant must offer meaningful contributions to the field of film criticism.
Applicant websites must have a method for sorting eligible film reviews (minimum 400 words) from all other articles. Sorting preference is in date order or a post date must accompany the individual list of reviews.
Membership applications are accepted every year between February 1 and June 30.
To process applications for the OFCS, the Governing Committee will request the volunteer assistance of the OFCS membership. Two types of volunteers will be requested. The first group will be those who wish to help review the quantitative requirements of membership (number and length of reviews, and tenure of critic). The second group will be those who will conduct the peer review of the applications submitted. This group will assess whether the applicants meets the qualitative aspects of admission (quality of website and quality of writing).
Before the Talent Scouts are provided a list of applicants to process, the application form itself, which will list the above requirements and ask the member to verify each question in specific, will be reviewed. Any applicant who submits an application that does not meet the above minimum requirements will be rejected without comment by the Governing Committee. Applicants rejected in this way will be permitted to re-apply the following year if they meet the stated requirements at that time.
The first group will go through all applicants on a schedule determined by the Governing Committee. They will specify whether each applicant has met these basic requirements. If the applicant does not, the application will be rejected and notice sent to the applicant by e-mail. Because applicants need to be honest on the application form, applicants who reach this stage of the process and are rejected will be prohibited from re-applying for membership for two years. Any subsequent violation of this requirement will result in the applicant being permanently prohibited from applying for membership.
Once the first group has completed review of the quantitative elements of the application process, the remaiing applicants will be passed through to the second group. The second group will review these applicants on a scheduled determined by the Governing Committee. Each Talent Scout will submit a vote of Accept, Reject or Undecided on each applicant. Only those applicants who receive a 2/3 majority of Accept votes will be granted membership in the OFCS. Each Talent Scout, including the members of the Governing Committee are given one vote per applicant and all such votes are counted equally. Whether each Talent Scout votes to accept or reject or without decision, they will submit a brief statement of areas for the applicant to improve on should they be denied membership. These comments will be collected and submitted to each applicant with their rejection letter. Members who are accepted for membership will not be provided this commentary.
Any applicant who is rejected two years consecutively, will be prohibited from re-applying for membership for one year. Otherwise, the rejected applicant may re-apply during the subsequent year’s application period.
For applicants who are not publishing in the English language, the Governing Committee will call on a member of the Talent Scouts or the OFCS membership to provide a translation of the applicants’ writing to determine the merits of extending membership. In the event the applicant is publishing in a language which no OFCS member can translate, the Governing Committee may call on a third party to offer an objective opinion.