Today, a group of six Hoosier film critics is announcing the formation of the Indianapolis Film Journalists Association. The IFJA is made up of writers, broadcasters and bloggers whose mission is the promotion of quality film to Indiana film-goers.
For now, it's a boys' club with all male members, but we hope to add some women and other journalists down the line.
Why now? Simply put, the number of screenings available to us has diminished significantly over the last couple of years, and has reached the point where we're struggling to find movies to write about because they aren't being shown to us. For example, we had exactly zero advance screenings in Indianapolis -- the 12th largest city in the U.S. -- over the last couple of weeks.
This is ironic, since it arrives just as the breadth of the discussion we're creating about movies is growing -- Lou Harry with his A&E blog at IBJ.com, myself here at CaptainCritic and Matthew Socey's "Film Soceyology" show at WFYI HD being the three newest additions to the scene.
We figured that using our collective muscle to lobby for more screenings is the way to go. Once we had that thought, the next logical step was to make it official and give ourselves a name.
Starting at the end of 2009, we plan to give out annual awards to the top films, just like other regional film critic groups do.
Here are the founding members of IFJA, listed alphabetically:
Bob Bloom, Lafayette Journal and Courier
Lou Harry, Indianapolis Business Journal
Ed Johnson-Ott, NUVO
Christopher Lloyd, freelance critic/blogger
Joe Shearer, Indy.com
Matthew Socey, WFYI, Host of “Film Soceyology”