NYFCC ByLaws

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE BYLAWS: (Updated Oct. 16, 2012)

I. TITLE: The title of the organization shall be the New York Film Critics Circle.

II MEMBERSHIP:

A: ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP. An active member is defined as a member who writes regular film criticism throughout the year for a commercial publication on a variety of subjects, based in the greater New York area, published with a minimum frequency of once a month, and who can vote in the group’s yearly awards and attend the awards dinner.

ACTIVE FREELANCE STATUS can be conferred upon members in good standing who have been separated from their periodical–either by termination of job or termination of publication–who remain professional film critics, continuing to publish or post reviews of current movies on a regular, paying basis. This status is to be verified annually, in private conversation between the member in question and the current Chair. The Chair is to conduct this conversation before the Business Meeting, and confer or deny status at the Meeting.

B. INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP. Inactive members can attend the awards ceremony, but they cannot attend business meetings or vote in the awards. If an active member loses valid affiliation as defined in IIA on or before June 30 of any calendar year, he or she will be considered inactive. If an active member loses valid affiliation as defined in IIA after June 30, he or she remains an active member (with voting privileges) until January 12 of the following year, at which point he or she becomes an inactive member. Active membership shall be reactivated as soon as a member again satisfies the criteria of IIA. Inactive status may last for five voting years, during which time the active member can be readmitted without re-applying; after five years he/she would need to reapply. In case of any disputes, inactive status shall be determined by a committee consisting of the current chair, current vice-chair and past chair.

C: NEW MEMBERS. Prospective members may apply for active membership after serving one year in a qualifying position as described in IIA. Applicants require sponsorship of an active member. All applicants must be filtered through Chairman. Members may sponsor only one applicant per year. Application and clippings will be distributed through Chairman to members to preserve confidential e-mail addresses. Applicants may be voted into the group at the business meeting by a majority vote of active members, either in person or by proxy.

D. NO AUTOMATIC SUCCESSION. When an active member loses affiliation at a qualifying publication, his or her successor shall not automatically be granted membership, but must apply to the group as a prospective new member.

E. DUES. Annual dues shall be payable at the voting meeting.

F. THERE IS NO LIMIT ON ACTIVE MEMBERS FROM ANY SINGLE PUBLICATION.

III. PURPOSE: The purpose of the organization shall be to represent–as an impartial, organized working unit–the profession of film criticism, and to recognize the highest creative achievements in the field of motion pictures, and thereby to uphold the integrity and significance of film criticism.

A. The primary function of NYFCC shall be the annual selection of outstanding screen achievements as described in Section 6.

B. Additional functions may include group action on professional and public issues concerning film subject to majority approval.

IV. OFFICERS: Activities of the NYFCC shall be administered by the following offers, whose individual duties are defined herewith:

A. The CHAIRMAN shall set dates for meetings and preside thereat, keep essential records, supervise activities of the organization and appoint committees as needed to explore specific projects. The Chairman shall serve for one year unless other arrangements are approved by a majority of the full, active membership. At each year’s business meeting, the Chairman is required to deliver a report to active members present, assessing any changes in membership during the preceding months.

B. The VICE-CHAIR shall assist the Chairman with the business of the organization and assume the duties of the Chairman in case of absence. The Vice-Chair shall be elected at the fall business meeting and shall succeed the current Chairman following the next awards ceremony.

C. The SECRETARY shall take minutes at business meetings. This is a volunteer office (with group ratification); the Secretary should give appropriate notice when resigning.

D. The TREASURER shall keep financial records for the group; issue payments and petty-cash checks for Circle-approved debts; and deliver a financial report annually at the October business meeting. This is a volunteer office (with group ratification); the Treasurer should give appropriate notice when resigning.

V. MEETINGS, QUORUMS and ELECTIONS:

A. Two meetings per year shall be mandatory. The first shall be held in the fall, primarily for the election of a Vice-Chair, to consider new members, and to set the date for the voting of awards. The second shall be held in December to vote the awards.

B. No meeting shall be considered valid beyond discussion purposes unless there is present a quorum consisting of a majority of the total membership, including written proxies. Any decision reached by a majority of those present at a valid meeting shall be binding on the organization. In cases where a quorum is not achieved (including written proxies), the Chairman shall be permitted to complete the voting on unresolved issues not related to membership by polling members individually.

C. Special meetings shall be called at the Chairman’s discretion or upon written petition by five or more members. All members of the organization shall be advised as to the proposed topic of discussion.

VI. AWARDS:

A. The basic awards of NYFCC shall be for best Film, Foreign-Language film, Non-Fiction Film, First Film, Animated Film, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography and Screenplay (the last two to be specified by title only), all pertaining to films released theatrically in New York during the calendar year. This includes films receiving a minimum of one week premiere theatrical run in New York City during the calendar year. Additional “Special” awards, such as for restoration or significant contribution to film culture, may be authorized for a single year by a two-thirds majority vote.

B. All awards shall be selected under the following voting procedure:

  • Normally there will be a maximum of four ballots.
  • On the first ballot in each category, each member shall have one vote. A nominee receiving at least 50 percent of the votes shall win. If there is no majority, voting shall continue to a second ballot.
  • On the second ballot, each member may indicate three choices. The first choice will receive three points, the second two and the third one. If a ballot includes only two two choices, they will be granted two and one point, respectively. If the ballot includes only one choice, it will be grant one point. Voting will not be limited to names or titles introduced on the first ballot. A nominee received the greatest number of points and appearing on more than half the ballots shall be deemed the winner. If there is no majority, voting shall continue to a third ballot.
  • Voting on the third ballot shall be conducted in the same manner as on the second, except that no new names or titles may be submitted and proxies–permitted on the first two ballots–shall no longer be counted.
  • Before the fourth ballot, any member may ask for a majority vote on whether to proceed and give an award in this category.
  • Voting on the fourth ballot will be conducted in the same manner as the third, except that now a simple plurality of points shall win.
  • A tie on the fourth ballot shall be resolved by a run-off between the two. In the case of a tie in the run-off, the award shall be shared.
  • The ballots shall specify achievement in a single film. Should the issue of multiple achievements within the calendar year arise, a majority of members present shall decide whether one or more achievements shall be recognized.
  • Only the final vote from the final ballot shall be revealed to the public.
  • For films not screened until after the December voting meeting (but before the end of the year), eligibility shall be extended to the next year.