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Attention Aspiring Film Critics: Indiewire Could Send You to the Sundance Film Festival Next Year

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by Eric Kohn
October 10, 2013 2:48 PM
3 Comments
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Mactriumph via Flickr The Egyptian Theater at the Sundance Film Festival.

At Indiewire, we have long believed that claims of film criticism being a profession in decline were misguided. While certainly not the easiest job market (has it ever been?), the desire among young critics to follow their passion hasn't waned. 

We've taken steps to help provide context to talented writers at various stages of their careers with our Criticwire Network and this accompanying blog, but those just taking their first few tentative steps into the world of criticism often need some additional guidance to get there. To address that challenge, we launched the Critics Academy initiative with our friends at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival and the Locarno Film Festival to great success.

And now we're adding another effort to the equation: We're pleased to announce the Indiewire | Sundance Institute Fellowship For Film Criticism, which will bring six college-age film critics to the Sundance Film Festival this January to cover the 2013 lineup. The program is being generously funded by the Sundance Institute's Roger Ebert Scholarship for Film Criticism, in memory of the late critic, a Sundance regular and champion of emerging voices in the film critic community.

The call for applications begins today and continues until October 31.

Sundance is an essential training ground for aspiring critic and film journalists, as it provides a deadline-driven environment filled with dozens of new movies that demand attention. The six critics in the Fellowship for Film Criticism will cover the Sundance program for Criticwire and other outlets from Park City for the duration of the festival, January 16 - 26, while getting the opportunity to meet with working critics and industry professionals. The workshop will place participants directly into the field where they'll write about one of the biggest film events of the year.

Applicants must be based in North America, have completed a minimum of three years of undergraduate study or no more than two years of experience creating critical and/or journalistic content about movies. They must showcase a demonstrable interest in film criticism and/or film journalism as well as the ability to speak and write fluently in English. Emphasis will be placed on a diversity of voices, backgrounds and cinematic interests.

Applications must include:
•    A one-page resume
•    Three writing samples about film, including film reviews, blog posts, college newspaper clips, podcasts or any other work that demonstrates the applicant’s skills. Academic papers are allowed but not encouraged.
•    A 300-word statement of intent, explaining the applicant’s background and why they would make an ideal candidate for the Fellowship. Applicants should 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.

Applications must be sent either as attachments or in the body of the email to FilmCriticFellowship@gmail.com by October 31.

Please send any questions regarding applications to eric@indiewire.com.


3 Comments

  • Sean | December 5, 2013 12:24 PMReply

    Will the selected 6 be announced soon?

  • Colin Biggs | October 30, 2013 3:34 AMReply

    I'm sure Mr. Ebert would be proud to see that film criticism will always continue on thanks to the energy and passion of young writers aspiring to be critics themselves.

  • Dan Mirvish | October 22, 2013 4:53 PMReply

    Eric - this sounds like a great program for aspiring film critics and a wonderful tribute to the legacy of Roger Ebert. Congrats to you and our friends at Sundance for organizing this. In Rober's honor (we counted him as a friend over the years), and on behalf of my colleagues at Slamdance, I would like to extend an invitation and pre-approved press credentials to your six Fellows at this, our 20th Anniversary Year of Slamdance. We hope that they will make the hike up Main St. at some point during the festival (it is good excercise, and these will be young, healthy film critics who should be able to make the walk). Among our other events, they are, of course, all invited to our annual Hot Tub Summit (clothing optional, but usually encouraged for visiting film critics). Good luck to all the applicants and see you in Park City!

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