Membership is always individual and at the discretion of the general membership. All members must publish or broadcase substantive reviews or critical commentary that exhibits considerable depth and breadth of knowledge in cinema. These reviews must be of newly-released films and must be presented/published on a regular basis. Reviews must involve considerations of artistic merit and entertainment value. Analysis from a specifically doctrinal or moral perspective does not qualify, nor do reviews of DVDs and/or videos. To remain members in good standing, members must also pay the annual membership dues, regularly update the Society web site, vote in the Association's end-of-year award balloting, and publicize the year end award results as well as any other pertinent film critic society business.

Members who fall into more than one of the three memberhip categories must meet the requirements of their primary category (e.g. a print critic whose reviews also appear on the ancillary web site must meet the print requirements).


  • 1. PRINT 
    Reviews must bear the member's by-line and appear in one or more accredited, professional publications with a total minimum circulation of 7,500. Each member must have published a minimum of 40 individual reviews and must remain current by publishing, on average, at least 2 similar reviews of new films per month, or no less than one substantial longer piece of commentary or criticism that looks at film in a broader context. Simple title listings with summaries do not qualify as reviews. 
    If a publication prints reviews by more than one critic, to be considered for membership, an individual contributor must meet the above requirements in terms of by-lines, archived reviews and remaining current.
  • 2. BROADCAST 
    Members must regularly broadcast on commercial or public radio, television outlets of substantial viewer or listener ship. Each member must ordinarily broadcast critical commentary on recently-opened films in one or more segments each week. A mere listing of weekly openings with incidental remarks does not qualify, nor does general entertainment reporting.
  • 3. INTERNET 
    A member must publish reviews on a stand-alone site of professional quality devoted exclusively to film and DVD. The site must attract, on average, of at least 5,000 unique viewers per month. Blogs, sites hosted on free servers, and sites on which film reviews are secondary to the site's main focus do not qualify. Each member must have a minimum of 75 archived reviews and must remain current by publishing, on average, at least 2 reviews of new films per month or no less than one substantial longer piece of commentary or criticism that looks at film in a broader context. 
    If a site hosts reviews by more than one critic, to be considered for membership, the site must meet the viewer requirement and an individual contributor must meet the above requirements in terms of archived reviews and continuing publication.
  • 4. DUES 
    Each member will pay dues of $50.00 annually. Any change in dues must be approved by 75% of the membership. All monies collected will be expended on the costs of maintaining the web site, providing means for the announcement of the Association's awards, or undertaking other activities in furtherance of the Association's mission approved in advanced by the Governing Board. Any funds remaining at the end of the calendar year will be rolled over into the following year.
  • 5. MAINTENANCE OF STANDING 
    An annual survey of the reviewing activities of all members will be undertaken by the Governing Board. Any member failing to meet the requirements for remaining current will be placed on an auxilliary list for six months. If at the end of that period he/she provides evidence that he again meets the minimum requirements, he shall be reinstated. If not, he shall be permanenetly removed from the membership roster. Reinstatement will require that the former member under the process for adding new members.
  • 6. ADDITIONS TO MEMBERSHIP 
    To be considered for membership to the Houston Film Critics Society, please contactthe President of the Society by email. Be sure to include your day and evening telephone numbers, as well as any other contact information. In addition, copies or links to film reviews should also be included. Any current member can recommend a new member, who will then be asked by the Governing Board if the wishes to be considered. If so, the Governing Board will assesswhether the proposed member meets the membership requirements, and if he or she does, will place the nomination before the entire membership. A 75% vote of the membership in favor will be required for the nominee to be added to the membership roll.
  • ETHICS GUIDELINES 
    The following ethics guidelines were established for members of the Houston Film Critics Society. Any breach of these guidelines may be punishable by censure or expulsion. The Ethics Guidelines are:
    • Deliberate plagiarizing of materials from other writers
    • Stealing goods or services from studio representatives, theaters, or other HFCS members
    • Using HFCS membership to demand special treatment (that includes demanding promotional items for personal use, demanding extra screening passes or demanding free passes to films that have already opened)
    • Allowing gifts or favors to influence the content of reviews
    • Reviewing films you have not seen
    • Reviewing films in which you, or someone you know well, has a creative or financial interest without disclosing that information in the review.
    • Threatening or harassing artists, studio representatives, theater owners/employees or other HFCS members
    • Falsely claiming to be an official representative of the HFCS
    • Unauthorized recording of theatrical releases
    • Unauthorized copying and/or sale of studio screeners, including (but not limited to) internet distribution
  • The Governing Committee reserves the right to review and alter these guidelines as needed or upon the request of the HFCS membership.
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