Film Critic Associations Television Critic Association

OFCS vs. BFCA: What Film Critics Need Know Before Applying

I have to applied to both the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) for multiple years now. I have previously written about becoming recognized as a film critic with the Online Film Critics Society and becoming recognized as a film critic with the Broadcast Film Critics Association. I am a film critic and look forward to being in an organization with my peers. Though both organization select new film and TV critics into their ranks every year, that is where their similarities end.

Nicolas Cage John Travolta Faceoff

Nicolas Cage John Travolta Faceoff

How Your Film Reviews will be Judged

OFCS

The OFCS has a set of volunteers that read through the ten reviews you submit, dissect them, and review your reviews. When you get rejected…ahem…they will eventually send you some of the reviewers comments on your reviews. This is meant to be helpful but can be very harsh. The reviewers do not know you and are not taking your feelings into account.Their thoughts on your reviews will be raw and penetrating. This email allows you to see the areas where your reviews are wanting.

This year the submissions requirements have changed. You can longer submit your ten best reviews. You must now submit a single link that houses all of the published reviews that you wish to be judged by. You do this by submitting all your information to the OFCS via a Google Docs application form.

The internet requirements have also changed. The reviews must be under your name with no other film critics’ reviews showing up in the link you supply.

BFCA

In the past, you emailed their representative and that person looked over your reviews and gave you a decision via email. Now you email the representative, they email you back a form, you fill out the form, you email it back to them, and then you wait. After waiting for almost three weeks the last time, I emailed the contact person to see if a decision had been made. You may have to do the same.

The last two times I applied, my reviews were not even judged just the frequency for which I published reviews each month.

What was also judged, something not on the BFCA website or in the critic submission criteria housed there, was the website my reviews were housed on. More on that in the next section.

How the Site your Reviews are Published on will be Judged

OFSC

I have never heard anything about the content of the site my reviews are housed on from their reviewers. They strictly review a film critic’s reviews and no other areas of their website.

BFCA

From the first time I applied, the website my film reviews were housed on were was judged and put under the microscope.

If your website is seen as: 1. fanboy, 2. scifi, or 3. horror by their representative, no matter how good, in-depth, or expertly written our film reviews are, you will not be accepted. Guaranteed.

Tony Moran Halloween Closet

Tony Moran Halloween Closet

I have been through the process numerous times, going so far as to change the site my reviews were housed on to suit the representative’s tastes and biases.

The year that I change my site around I had written and published 36 films reviews, 6 Blu-ray reviews (each containing a film review), and 56 TV show reviews within various genres (avoiding fanboy, scifi, and horror) in one year.

The site changes was deemed not substantial enough and I was denied admittance to both the BFCA and BTJA (The Broadcast Television Journalists Association) without any mention of my reviews or their quality.

For Online Film Critics: The BFCA says they have specific traffic requirements but they do not publish those requirements on their website and do not supply them when asked via email. Publishing this requirements seems like a no-brainer. If they did publish them, a webmaster would instantly know if his or her website was garnering enough traffic to apply or not.

For Online Film Critics: They have inbound link (sites linking to you) requirements but do not publish those requirements on their website and do not supply them when asked via email. Once again, publishing this requirements on their website seems like a no-brainer. Instead, you have to guess and hope.

I asked the BFCA representative if AwardsDaily was the type of website that the BFCA accepted. A few days later I received an email reply that it was. Notice how mainstream Hollywood the queried site is. Use that as a barometer for your own website before applying.

Writing Tips to Keep in Mind before Applying

I wrote tips previously here: Applying to Film Critics Associations: Tips, Qualifications, Lessons, and Insights but here are some others:

Write at least one film review a week. There are 52 weeks in a year so have 104 reviews (2 years worth) written before applying to either organization. Both look at your publishing frequency.

Your reviews should be a minimum of 500 words each.

Keep you reviews in one tense: present or past, not both.

Write reviews across all genres: action, family, comedy, drama, animation, scifi, crime, romance, and horror. This shows that you are a multi-faceted film critic, that you are not skewed toward one genre of the other.

Do not be long-winded in your reviews. Get to the point quickly. “Brevity is the soul of wit” – William Shakespeare.

Back up your arguments with facts e.g. if you say the acting in the film was terrible, give an example from the film where the acting was lacking. Remember, the OFCS reads through some of your reviews from beginning to end in gauging you for their society.

Oh, and by mindful of the: 7 Movie Review Writing Mistakes a Film Critic Should Avoid.

Closing Thoughts

The OFCS cares solely about your reviews, the BFCA cares about your website and your website’s other content first, your film reviews second.

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started ProMovieBlogger to educate others on what he had learned through trial and error. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook (http://film-book.com), he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He also created and runs Trending Awards.com.

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