President's Message

Your thoughts on the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards

March 9th, 2021

The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards show was unlike anything that came before, and hopefully unlike the future, too.  But under these pandemic circumstances I am pretty darn proud of what we accomplished – an entertaining and enlightening awards show that somehow managed to deliver more nominees live in person than ever before.  The technical challenge was daunting, which made our show all the more satisfying in the end.

Behind the scenes, there were a lot of heroes, most notably CCA EVP John De Simio, Board members Shawn Edwards and Sam Rubin, Dera Freund and Scott Mantz.  The CW Television Network, EP Bob Bain and his entire team, Webmaster Lisa Waters, and Slate PR are crucial and reliable allies, along with a hundred more too numerous to name here.

Of course, what matters most is what YOU thought.  Any feedback – good or bad – would be much appreciated here, so we can accentuate the positive and mitigate the negatives moving forward.  What did you think of the 26th annual CCA?  Please post comments below.

Onward and upward!


Plans for 2021

January 25th, 2021

What a crazy, horrible year was 2020.  But now that it’s in our rearview mirror, I’d like to look forward and report to you on the Critics Choice Association’s plans for 2021.

We began the year by premiering the Critics Choice Super Awards on January 10th on The CW.  Our effort to honor and support genre filmmaking was well received critically, but the ratings were weak.  Whether the Super Awards return as a television special again remains to be seen.  If you have any ideas about this – or about anything in this email – please do reach out to me directly at [email protected].

Next up is our third annual Celebration of Black Cinema, a virtual event this year of course, and one to which all CCA members are invited on February 2.  The brainchild of Board of Directors member Shawn Edwards, the CBC was conceived and executed in previous years as an FYC event, but lineup for it this year is so spectacular that another Board member, Sam Rubin, brought it to his station, KTLA in Los Angeles.  Now KTLA will air a 90-minute version of the CBC on February 6 and it is being offered for free to other Nexstar stations in a one-hour version to air during the first couple of weeks in February.  Honorees include Zendaya, John David Washington, Delroy Lindo, John Legend, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andra Day, Shaka King, Tommie Smith, Tessa Thompson, the cast of “One Night in Miami,” and the late Chadwick Boseman.  Presenters include Lee Daniels, Aaron Sorkin, LaKeith Stanfield, Taraji P. Henson, Daniel Kaluuya, Jonathan Majors, Kemp Powers and others.  Bevy Smith is the host.

As for our biggest show, the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will honor the finest movies and series on March 7.  The show will be broadcast live on The CW at 7 p.m. ET and host Taye Diggs and some of our presenters will actually be on a stage in North Hollywood, but there won’t be any in-person audience because of COVID restrictions.  The nominees will appear virtually from their homes or wherever they are on March 7.  Bob Bain Productions and a big team of tech geniuses are working really hard to pull off this virtual-live hybrid show.  More on that as we get closer to the show. 

In the meantime, our TV award nominees were announced last week, film category voting will take place February 1-5 and those nominees will be announced on February 8.  Winners will be voted on March 1-2 on the TV side and March 4-5 on the film side – and all the winners will be revealed live on the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards on March 7.  Of course, we will be relying on every member to do what they can to promote the show on their outlets as well as social media.

If we survive all of the above, it’s on to the 4th annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards in June and the 6th annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards in November.  Whether we will be able to gather for either CCRA or CCDA remains to be seen.  In 2020 we simply voted and announced the awards and the nominees and recipients were very happy we did.  Giving the winners the opportunity to record video acceptance speeches which were included in special CCRA and CCDA announcements made them even happier.

And I’m very happy about your continued support and participation in the CCA.


Joey Berlin
Critics Choice Association
9220 Sunset Blvd.
Suite 220
Los Angeles, California 90069
(310) 860-2665 (p)


We did it again!

January 19th, 2020

Our Silver Anniversary Critics’ Choice Awards gala on January 12th ranked with our best shows ever.  The ratings were good, the reviews were better and no one can recall a better vibe in the room as hundreds of film and television stars joined hundreds of Critics Choice Association members in a celebration of a very strong year of moving image content creation.

Food service got more attention than usual this year.  It is a nearly impossible task to deliver good food to 1,500 people in an airplane hangar without a kitchen.  Encouraged by our Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix and other stars to make a statement about climate crisis by serving only plant-based foods during the show, we got a lot of nice press when we announced that plan, which took a tremendous effort by our main food sponsors The Counter and Baja Fresh.  The problem, as too many of you found out, was that they underestimated how much food was needed and some tables got little or no service at all during the show.  That won’t happen again.

But most importantly, we delivered smart and funny three-hour show that featured some great acceptance speeches and a group of very deserving and grateful winners.  Taye Diggs was a charming host again and our broadcast partners at The CW were happy to let us do our thing to the benefit of their audience and all our guests at the Barker Hangar.

If you have other thoughts or comments about this year’s show or planning for the future, please post a comment or reach out to me personally at [email protected].

Onward and upward!


ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

September 2nd, 2019

As the lines between movies and television blur and fade into history, and story-telling content delivery systems evolve, the work of entertainment reporters and critics is changing as well.  Recognizing these changes, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association are merging into a single organization. The natural choice for the name of this new organization is the Critics Choice Association, as our brand has always been Critics Choice.

Critics Choice Association membership will be broad-based, open to any critics or reporters whose vocation is covering theatrical film releases or broadcast, cable or streaming entertainment.  However, Critics Choice Association members will not automatically be eligible to vote for all of the awards we present at our Critics’ Choice Awards (Winter), Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards (Spring) and Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards (Fall) events. Voting criteria will be determined separately for all Critics’ Choice events by the creation of Voting Branches, with the understanding that voting eligibility requirements will be different even for categories within a single event, as is currently the case for the Critics’ Choice Awards.  In all cases, the goal is to ensure that the integrity of ALL Critics’ Choice Awards remains unquestioned. Our awards will be voted on by professional critics and journalists whose expertise is demonstrated by the maintenance of a large audience of regular viewers, listeners and readers.

All current BFCA or BTJA members are now automatically members of the Critics Choice Association.  Nothing is required to maintain that status beyond continuing to work as a critic or entertainment reporter and continuing to pay annual dues.  Beginning in 2020, annual dues will be $150, marking the first dues increase in well over a decade.

We have asked all members to tell us which of the awards they feel qualified to vote for.  Our Membership Committee will confirm that you are to be included in the appropriate Voting Branch or Branches.  It is possible to be qualified to vote in more than one Branch, depending on the amount of coverage you are regularly providing in each area.

This evolution of BFCA and BTJA into CCA is timely and logical, and has been greeted by full support from the studios and networks in our annual meetings.  Thanks for your patience and understanding as we complete the change.

Onward and upward!


We did it again! Maybe even better than ever.

January 15th, 2019

The 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards was a rousing success.  Everyone seemed to have such a good time – honorees, industry big shots and BFCA/BTJA members and guests – and the television ratings were the best we’ve enjoyed in many years.  Other awards shows may be seeing their audiences shrinking, but our audience is growing!

There are far too many people to thank here individually (see the Welcome Message in the program booklet for many deserving thank yous), but our wise voting and the tireless promotional efforts of so many members seems to have paid off.  And thank you to all the members who had those seats in the back and still had a great night, understanding that studios, networks, platforms and sponsors must get the best seats.  We are the hosts and we are gracious ones.

The show was so successful this year that the very next day The CW picked up its option to be our broadcast partner again next year, when we will be celebrating our Silver Anniversary.  In the meantime, planning is underway for the inaugural Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards in Beverly Hills on June 2.

As we like to say, Onward and Upward!


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 ([email protected]) 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 ([email protected]) 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.