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The Reeler Blog

Critic All-Call: MoMI's Film Writing Institute Wants You

By S.T. VanAirsdale

One good turn deserves another, evidently, and after an inaugural run with 14 critics including Rob Nelson, Rafer Guzman, Sam Adams, Jennifer Merin and Kristi Mitsuda, the Museum of the Moving Image's Institute in Film Criticism and Feature Writing is back to accepting applications for 2008 version.

Full details for prospective applicants are listed after the jump, but apart from the Museum being closed and gutted around this time, the basics are pretty much the same. "The program, which is a New York Times Company Foundation Journalism Institute, will be held from April 10 through 15, 2008," notes a press release just slipped over the Reeler transom. "Its purpose is to offer an expanded appreciation of the art and history of film, and a global view of the complex and rapidly evolving nature of the film and entertainment industry." The dispatch adds that Institute fellows attend five days of seminars with editors, filmmakers and film industry execs, including a sit-in at a weekly staff meeting at The Times. The biggest change-up is the timing, which is about one week earlier than last year's event and thus not linked up with the Tribeca Film Festival.

The only catch for you striving bloggers: One year of professional experience in journalism is required. It's even italicized, so I guess they mean it. Anyway, applications are easy enough to compose, and thank God because they're due Feb. 18. Follow the jump for more info, and good luck!



New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image—the nation’s only museum devoted to film, television, and digital media—announces its second annual Moving Image Institute in Film Criticism and Feature Writing, a five-day institute for film critics, culture editors, and arts writers. The program, which is a New York Times Company Foundation Journalism Institute, will be held from April 10 through 15, 2008. Its purpose is to offer an expanded appreciation of the art and history of film, and a global view of the complex and rapidly evolving nature of the film and entertainment industry.

With sessions at the Museum and at production facilities and offices in Manhattan, members of the Institute will learn about the art and business of film from leading directors, editors, composers, screenwriters, publicists, and executives. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend a weekly meeting between editors and writers of The New York Times (A full schedule of the 2007 Institute, with photographs and information, is available at

Applicants must have at least one year professional experience in journalism. Twelve applicants will be selected. In order to encourage geographic diversity, hotel accommodations in midtown Manhattan will be provided for five nights for fellows living more than 50 miles from New York City. The Institute begins with an opening reception on the evening of Thursday, April 10. Participants will be responsible for their own travel to and from New York City.

To apply, please provide the following by mail or email:

--Your home address and email;
--Your employer’s name, address, and email;
--350 words describing your experience as it relates to film criticism and/or arts writing;
--350 words describing a likely/hoped for outcome of your participation in this institute;
--Two published writing samples. These pieces need not be about film;
--Two professional references (including name, title, address, email, and telephone).

Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., February 17, 2008. Final candidates will be interviewed by phone, and successful applicants will be notified by February 26, 2008.

Mail to: Film Institute, Museum of the Moving Image, 35 Avenue at 36 Street, Astoria, NY 11106. Email to: institute [at]


Posted at February 8, 2008 3:17 PM

Comments (3)

Stu, What's the scoop. How is it? Who/what is it intended for?

I wasn't a part of it last year, but the sense I get from alums is that it's kind of an intensive, workshoppy week of meetings, discussions, and not half-bad industry introductions. As far as I know, the emphasis is on sharpening pro chops in a safe, smart climate as opposed to theoretical orgies about the nature or longevity of film criticism. The eligibility criteria are definitely tighter this year (i.e. no bloggers); I think I know why, but there's no point in speculating. Does that help at all?

Yes, I'm wondering exactly how they define "professional experience in journalism." I feel that "professional = paid" and "journalism = film criticism," so I'm planning to apply. If my time at Cinematical won't count, I suppose I can list my year as a junior political reporter in Baton Rouge in 1990.

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