President's Message

President’s Message

August 6th, 2018

What are the BFCA and BTJA?

Officially, they are not-for-profit business associations, created to advance the art of film and television criticism and journalism and its practitioners. Anyone who reviews movies or TV shows, or regularly reports about movies and/or television and streaming content, for a significant television, radio or Internet audience is welcome to join our ranks. Currently BFCA and BTJA are about 350 members strong.

To the public, the most visible part of BFCA and BTJA is the annual Critics’ Choice Awards. Our awards serve an important purpose in the industry, honoring the finest achievements in film and TV and helping Oscar and Emmy voters as well as entertainment consumers determine which movies and shows they must be sure to check out. Being a Critics’ Choice voter reflects our members’ strong standing with studios, networks and publicists, and leads to better access to screenings, screeners, DVDs, interviews and junket opportunities.

BFCA and BTJA serve another vital purpose in the entertainment industry. Led by membership director Sara Voorhees, working closely with BTJA president Ed Martin, BFCA EVP John De Simio and me, our organizations serve as an invaluable vetting service for studios, networks and publicists. We take this role very seriously and encourage companies to rely on us. If someone is a member of BFCA or BTJA, they don’t need to be checked out any further. Membership in our organization means legitimacy. Multiple times every year, we reconfirm that each individual member still qualifies to be in our widely distributed membership directories.

Members generally understand that when Sara is inquiring about your outlet, she is doing so to protect the legitimacy of all of us. Your cooperation is expected and appreciated.

A member’s relationship to an outlet can change. We count on that member notifying Sara of such changes, and on her discovering the change during her regular vetting process if the member neglects to do so. That’s the way our system works.

What we do NOT expect and cannot allow is for members to express doubt about other members’ credentials to publicists or network or studio reps. If you believe that a member is not being forthcoming about a change in their work or outlet, you may reach out to Sara (movimama@swcp.com) and suggest that she reconfirm a member’s status. But speaking ill of a BFCA or BTJA member to publicists or reps is not acceptable.

Membership in BFCA and BTJA is a significant professional accomplishment and is often very important to one’s career. We can all be proud to be a part of this club. Our membership policies as outlined herein are designed to protect the organizations and every individual member. Let’s continue to be supportive of our awards shows and each other and together we will continue to advance Onward and Upward!


President’s Message

May 29th, 2018

I am very proud to begin another two-year term as president of the BFCA. The confidence that the membership continues to place in me is among the most meaningful things in my life.

To a great extent, that confidence stems from the reliably outstanding performance of the BFCA executive team, starting with the Board of Directors, including new members Sam Rubin and Sean O’Connell, and new BTJA president Ed Martin.

On this team, no one works harder for BFCA and BTJA than Membership Director Sara Voorhees. It is her job to ensure that our membership directories are regularly vetted, which allows studios and networks to rely on our directories as a who’s who of journalists they need to service. What we tell these companies is if someone is a BFCA or BTJA member you can be sure they are legitimate and worthy of your attention. Every member of BFCA and BTJA greatly benefits from her efforts.

In this digital age, Sara is able to do much of her vetting by visiting websites, where many members’ work is continuously on display. In these cases, she does not need to contact individual members. If this is not the case, she will reach out to the member and request links or other evidence to confirm membership qualifications. The vast majority of members understand this important process and happily assist Sara when she reaches out. Occasionally, a member reacts defensively, despite the fact that Sara is simply doing her job for the benefit of our entire organization. If you are able to provide direction as to where she can find your work without having to contact you directly, please send her that info (movimama@swcp.com) and she will add it to your listing in our directory. If not, please be appreciative when she reaches out to you for help in confirming that you remain a member in good standing.

Along with EVP (and Mr. Fix-it) John De Simio and long-serving Board members Jim Ferguson and Mark Ramsey, Sara has long played and continues to play a vital role in the smooth functioning of the BFCA and BTJA. I know I could not do my job as effectively without them and the rest of the executive team. They deserve our respect and appreciation. They certainly have mine.


Post-CCA President’s Message

January 17th, 2018

Well, we did it again.

The 23rd annual Critics’ Choice Awards was certainly one of the finest yet mounted, in my humble opinion.  Of course, I’m a bit prejudiced.  What did you think?

Please post your reviews of our show in the comments section below.  How did you like Olivia Munn as host?  Did we do ourselves proud with our choices?  How cute IS Brooklynn Prince?

About half the membership attended the CCA this year.  Hopefully the other half watched at home.  How did it play in the room?  On TV?  Streaming?

Thoughts?


The 23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards

November 7th, 2017

I am extremely pleased to report that the Critics’ Choice Awards are returning to The CW!

Several of our finest CCA shows were broadcast on The CW, which guarantees a far bigger audience for our spectacular awards gala this year. This renewal of our partnership means a return to our traditional show date in the middle of awards season – this year on Thursday night, January 11. Our experiment with moving the show into December succeeded in drawing hundreds of stars to our show, but it seems that viewing audiences need a little more time to connect to the year’s contenders.

Moving the CCA back into January means we’ll have a bit more time to consider our nominations. On the TV side, NomComs begin deliberations on November 20. On the film side, nomination balloting will take place from December 1 to December 4. Nominations for all the Critics’ Choice Awards will be announced on December 6.

As always, the support of our membership in publicizing and promoting our big event is crucial. Our team at The CW and Slate PR will be providing tools for members use and we count on your input and suggestions as to how to accomplish our main goal – to make our celebration of the finest achievements in film, television and streaming content valuable to entertainment consumers and the creative community. Bringing our CCA show back to The CW is a big step in that direction.


The 23rd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards!

November 7th, 2017

I am extremely pleased to report that the Critics’ Choice Awards are returning to The CW!

Several of our finest CCA shows were broadcast on The CW, which guarantees a far bigger audience for our spectacular awards gala this year.  This renewal of our partnership means a return to our traditional show date in the middle of awards season – this year on Thursday night, January 11.  Our experiment with moving the show into December succeeded in drawing hundreds of stars to our show, but it seems that viewing audiences need a little more time to connect to the year’s contenders.

Moving the CCA back into January means we’ll have a bit more time to consider our nominations.  On the TV side, NomComs begin deliberations on November 20.  On the film side, nomination balloting will take place from December 1 to December 4.  Nominations for all the Critics’ Choice Awards will be announced on December 6.

As always, the support of our membership in publicizing and promoting our big event is crucial.  Our team at The CW and Slate PR will be providing tools for members use and we count on your input and suggestions as to how to accomplish our main goal – to make our celebration of the finest achievements in film, television and streaming content valuable to entertainment consumers and the creative community.  Bringing our CCA show back to The CW is a big step in that direction.


The Election Results Are In

June 17th, 2017

This year’s BFCA election was one of the most consequential in our group’s history. On behalf of the entire BFCA/BTJA membership, thank you to all 18 candidates. Every one would have been a wonderful edition to the BFCA Board of Directors.

Turnout was very strong and it was clear that the majority of members took their voting responsibility seriously, studied the Position Statements, and considered the campaign messages that so many of the candidates sent out in recent days.

I am delighted to report that the two new members of the BFCA Board of Directors are Sam Rubin and Sean O’Connell. Both have been deeply involved in BFCA and BTJA activities for many years. I and the rest of the Board look forward to the energy, enthusiasm and experience they are sure to bring to our organization’s leadership.

To the other worthy candidates, I invite you to follow up with me about your ideas so we can explore ways to execute them. I’m excited about many of the things you campaigned on and hope that BFCA can capitalize on the best ideas put forth.

Onward and upward!

Joey Berlin
BFCA President


Emmy Season and Awards Campaigning

May 12th, 2017

As the Emmy season approaches, awards campaigning in the television industry has moved into high gear.  As an Emmy voter in the Producers branch, I am inundated with screeners, links and invitations to FYC events.  Needless to say, it is literally impossible to “see everything” in order to vote wisely and fairly.

Which reminds me how important BTJA and the Critics’ Choice Awards are to the industry.

In this age of Peak TV, there are not only hundreds and hundreds of series on broadcast TV, cable channels and streaming services, there are dozens of GREAT ones and an awful lot of darn good ones.  Our hope is that by dividing the shows into four categories (Drama, Comedy, Movies/Limited Series, and Reality/Animation/Talk) our Nominating Committees can collectively rise to the challenge of identifying the best shows and performances.  Curating and advising both consumers and Emmy voters as to what are the things that can’t be missed, our Critics’ Choice Awards are a key part of an ecosystem that supports the creation of high quality entertainment.

Film critics also have it hard, with hundreds of films released each year, and with the best ones clustered for release in the fall, after a delightfully intense series of film festivals in Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York and other wonderful destinations.  But TV critics and journalists must struggle all year with the Sisyphusian task of keeping up with a seemingly endless list of programs and series that often run more than ten hours each.

Granted it is generally a pleasure and a privilege for BTJA and BFCA members to be cultural explorers charting the way through an ocean of great storytelling.  However, to do our jobs as well as we can all year round as well as during “awards season” is certainly not easy.