GUIDELINES FOR POTENTIAL FILM SECTION MEMBERS:
When considering candidates to join the Film Section, the membership committee pays particular attention to rules 1 and 6 of the Circle.
Rule 1 states that among the objects of the Circle are to promote the art of criticism and to uphold its integrity; to safeguard the professional interests of its members; and to promote the advancement of the arts.
Rule 6 says that invitations to join the Circle shall be issued only to persons engaged professionally, regularly and substantially for at least two years in the writing or broadcasting of criticism – and/or informed analytical features or programmes – on the relevant discipline (film, in our case).
The Film Section membership committee interprets these two rules to mean that potential members will be UK-based film journalists who are paid practitioners (in a staff post, on a contract or, more typically, professionally freelance), and for whom criticism and analytical pieces form a substantial part of their output. Beyond that, the committee is looking for excellence in the work submitted for consideration.
Membership in the Critics’ Circle is by invitation of the Council only. Applicants are considered in the spring by the Film Section membership committee. Its recommendations must then be approved at a Film Section meeting and then by the Critics’ Circle Council.
The committee’s deliberations are confidential, and the committee does not disclose the names of any rejected applicants. It should be noted that we have a large number of applicants every year and admissions to this section of the Circle are limited by number. Rejected applicants are welcome to apply again next year or in any future year.
The Film Section membership committee typically consists of four voting members, with two retiring each year and two new members joining. This way we ensure that the gatekeepers of the film section are refreshed every year.
The Film Section of the UK Critics’ Circle welcomes applicants every year from January 1 to April 30, using the Membership Form (only live when applications are being accepted).
Membership of the Critics’ Circle currently costs £25 per year.