Online Film Critics Society
FormationJanuary 1997 (1997-01)
FounderHarvey S. Karten
TypeFilm criticism
Membership (2020)
Official language

The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) is an international professional association of online film journalists, historians and scholars who publish their work on the World Wide Web. The organization was founded in January 1997 by Harvey S. Karten, an early online critic who discovered that membership in the New York Film Critics Circle was open only to journalists working for newspapers and magazines.[2] Online critics have generally found it difficult to gain acceptance for their work, and one role of the OFCS is to provide professional recognition to the most prolific and successful online critics.[3]

Since 1997, the OFCS has given out annual awards that recognize the best films in about seventeen categories. These awards are noted in the established print media such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, and are included in their annual speculation about the ultimate winners of the Academy Awards.[4][5][6]


Critics whose primary media affiliation is a print publication, or radio or television, are excluded; this criterion distinguishes the OFCS from associations, such as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is responsible for the annual, widely televised Golden Globe Awards. Applicants for membership in the OFCS must have published at least 100 film reviews over at least two years, and are subject to a peer review process to establish the quality of their work.[7] Of hundreds of applications that are received, only a "tiny number" are accepted.[8] As of January 2020, there were 284 members worldwide.[1]

Its membership includes writers for such film-related websites as Apollo Movie Guide, DVDTalk,, The Moving Arts Film Journal, (now defunct), FilmFocus, Film Threat, The Internet Movie Database, and Slant Magazine.

Award Ceremonies

Current award categories

Previous award categories


  1. ^ a b "OFCS Presents: 23rd Annual Awards for 2019". OFCS. January 6, 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Harvey S. Karten". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 17, 2020. When my application for membership in the New York Film Critics Circle was circular-filed (print media only, sorry), I founded the Online Film Critics Society in January 1997 and three years later, NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online).
  3. ^ Silverman, Jason (February 28, 2004). "Invasion of the Web Film Critics". Wired. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  4. ^ McNary, David (January 3, 2011). "Online Film Critics laud 'Social Network'". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  5. ^ Whipp, Glenn (January 9, 2012). "Critics choices might foretell Oscar chances". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  6. ^ Feinberg, Scott (January 30, 2012). "SAG Awards Confirm Tremendous Support for 'The Help' -- and 'The Artist' (Analysis)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 17, 2020. This awards season, Plummer has won virtually every major Oscar-precursor best supporting actor award that there is to win: the National Board of Review Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award, the Online Film Critics Society Award, the Critics' Choice Award, the Golden Globe Award, and now the Screen Actors Guild Award.
  7. ^ "Want to Become a Member?". Online Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-02.
  8. ^ Sterritt, David (May 28, 2004). "Online film critics get mixed reviews". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved September 17, 2020.