Gen Z Critics is committed to diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage people from historically underrepresented groups in media and entertainment to apply.

All applicants must be 24 years old or younger. Finalists from previous years may not participate.

Your application must include the following:

  • 1 document including the following (this document should not contain any identifying information):
    • 1 review of a film ​that has transported you out of the quarantine/COVID-19 era. Your review must have a creative title. While it is preferred that you submit a review that has not already been published elsewhere, it is not required. ​The​ ​list of suggested films​ ​is provided for inspiration; however, as theaters have been closed and movie release dates have been delayed, this year applicants may write about a film from any period.
    • 1 essay response to the prompt: “How can we increase interest in film criticism among young people?” This essay should also have a creative title.
  • 1 document with the following:
    • The full name you would like to be attached to your ​author’s profile, year in school, email, and the city where you’re based
    • Name of school, if currently attending
    • A short personal bio
  • A headshot (should you choose to write reviews for our website, this will be posted, along with your personal bio, on the 2021 members page of our website).

Each part of the application must be written in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, on a Word document. The review and essay are each limited to two pages (single-spaced); your application, in its entirety, should be formatted like this sample. You can submit your application by emailing it to [email protected].

Upon submitting your application, you will immediately become a member of Gen Z Critics.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2021, 11:59 PM EST. Five finalists will be determined by professional film critics from organizations such as the New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics. All applicants will be contacted with the results via email by mid-March.

Contest winners will be selected to participate in an online round table discussion moderated by a professional film critic. Their work will be published on the Gen Z Critics website, and they will also receive an all-access pass to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth.

Still not sure if you want to apply? Watch this video and reconsider.

Suggested films

The Photograph
The Invisible Man
Bad Boys for Life
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Miss Americana
Weathering with You
The Gentlemen
The Rhythm Section
Gretel & Hansel
Birds of Prey
The Grudge
Sonic the Hedgehog
Fantasy Island
The Call of the Wild
Trolls World Tour
The Lovebirds
Artemis Fowl
The SpongeBob Movie
Wonder Woman 1984
Bill & Ted Face the Music
The New Mutants
A Quiet Place Part II
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Bad Education
Beastie Boys Story
First Cow
Saint Frances
Selah and the Spades
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
Valley Girl
The Whistlers
The French Dispatch
Snake Eyes
Happiest Season
No Time To Die
Raya and the Last Dragon
Free Guy
West Side Story
Coming 2 America
The Croods 2
Tom and Jerry
Top Gun: Maverick
Promising Young Woman
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Woman in the Window