At tonight's Celebrate Sundance Institute benefit in Los Angeles, where late film critic Roger Ebert was honored with a Vanguard Leadership Award in Memoriam, the Sundance Film Festival announced the creation of the Roger Ebert Scholarship For Film Criticism. The program, which will begin at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, "will make grants to 6 to 8 emerging critics to enable them to participate in the Indiewire Critics Academy program at 2014 Sundance Film Festival."
More details on the program from its fundraiser page:
"The Indiewire Critics Academy, managed by Eric Kohn, chief film critic and senior editor, Indiewire, will select candidates based on an open submission process. The program is a workshop for aspiring critics who have demonstrated writing skills and a love of cinema, in a festival setting allowing them to become immersed in a deadline-driven environment as they navigate and cover Sundance Film Festival. Fellows will emerge with a deeper awareness of the practical challenges involved in gaining a foothold in entertainment journalism specifically film criticism while navigating the demands of the film world.
The Indiewire Critics Academy initiative was launched by Indiewire in 2012 at the Locarno International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Applications are FREE and will be reviewed by Indiewire. Our goal is $25,000 per year for eight scholars."
In the past, the members of Indiewire's Critics Academies have had their writing published on this blog as part of their responsibilities at the Locarno and New York Film Festivals; meeting and collaborating with them has been one of the highlights of working here. I won't be around when the first Ebert Scholarship recipients begin contributing to Criticwire, but I'm proud to have been a part of this burgeoning program in its earliest stages, and I'll be excited to read their work next January.
Kudos to everyone at Sundance and Indiewire on a superb tribute to Roger Ebert, a critic who always encouraged and championed young critics. If you're interested, you can donate to the scholarship at the link below.
Read more about the Roger Ebert Scholarship For Film Criticism.