Michigan Movie Critics Guild By-Laws

Mission Statement

The  Michigan Movie Critics Guild(MMCG) is a group comprised of Michigan-based film critics and journalists working in print, broadcast and/or electronic media and, or whose work primarily appears in the Michigan market. The purpose of the MMCG is to honor excellence in U.S and world cinema and to promote the film industry within the state of Michigan when possible. Healthy discussion of entertainment is encouraged and celebrated.

MEMBER OBLIGATIONS 

  • Apply for membership each year and update all personal and professional information
  • Pay membership dues by the designated due date
  • Notify MMCG leadership if your professional status changes that might make you ineligible to participate
  • Be professional when attending any functions such as screenings or junkets as you are considered a representative of the MMCG and should act accordingly. 
  • Treat other members and associates with the MMCG with respect
  • Participate in the year-end awards screening days
  • Publicize the society and the announcement of the aforementioned year-end awards via their medium/outlets

NOTE: If a member does not abide by the obligations, they will be removed from the group and will not be invited to re-apply for future membership.

What does it mean to be a MMCG member in good standing?

  • After application, if you are invited to join the MMCG group, you will subsequently be invited to MMCG screenings. This includes special screening days and may include other sporadic press screenings, events, and promotional items.
  • You will also be included on the official MMCG roster and included in press releases sent out as well as featured on the website.
  • You will also be invited to lend your voice to aggregated online film capsules 
  • You may receive some screeners from studios for year-end voting.  Some studios send them and some do not.  Just because one member receives a screener, it does not mean all members will.  Some MMCG members are also members of other groups that receive items the MMCG does not.  Screeners and promotional items are NOT guaranteed.
  • There are no special entitlements, no membership cards, and no admission to any movie theatres, screening links, or advance events included in your MMCG membership. Media and Marketing companies are private organizations and therefore gave the right to refuse admission regardless of Membership standing

Membership Eligibility

As of July 1st of each year, the Board will review all current members and new prospective applicants, to evaluate compliance and eligibility for that year. To be eligible to join or remain a member of the MMCG, a professional critic must meet all of the criteria that are set in place.  As of April 2023, the criteria are as follows:

  1. Each critic must have 60 written or recorded reviews of films, television, or live theater during the past 12 months, in an established publication (print, radio, television, or web). Feature articles may be included in that final count but not more than 12 (or 20% of total annual output). No more than two writers per publication will be admitted. Facebook/Lettrbox and/or other social media posts without an established linked publication or website will not be considered
  2. Individual reviews must be searchable via an online search engine, such as Bing, Google, etc. Descriptions of Audio/Video presentations such as podcasts or vlogs must have a timestamp referencing the review and the review must be 3-5 minutes long.
  3. A writing sample of at least 6 published reviews within the last 6 months must be submitted with the application and/or submit a broadcast/video sample of work you have done in the past 6 months.
  4. Membership renewal is not automatic and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Board.  A new membership application with the previous year’s activities must be made each year as criteria may change.  
  5. Each critic must write for a publication/outlet or appear on broadcasts and live in Michigan or within 20 miles of the Michigan Border.
  6. Must be current on MMCG dues and updated personal contact information. 

Dues and updated contact information will be due by August 1st of each year, with a reminder to be sent out in July. A maximum 10-day grace period will be allowed and if payment has not been received within this time, you may lose your membership eligibility.

New Membership applications are accepted every year between February 1st and July 1st. By August 1st of each year, a full list of active MMCG members will be presented to the membership and posted on the MMCG website. The members on this list will be the only members involved in voting on the annual MMCG Awards which take place in November or December of each year.

No writer will be denied membership in the MMCG on the basis of race, religion, ethnic heritage, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, education status, profession or professional affiliation, political affiliation, physical disability, age, appearance, veteran status, language, or membership in other critics groups.

MMCG is a Private Association, based on the First Amendment constitutional right of Freedom of Association. Individuals do not have a constitutional right to be members.

Membership may be denied or revoked based on character, lack of searchable reviews, or public displays of poor representation of the group. These include:

  1. Hate speech in public targeting a protected class (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion), or individual members.
  2. Hate speech on public social media posts targeting a protected class (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion).
  3. Harassment or abuse of our members, media reps, guests, patrons, or employees of any screening or event venue. 

AWARDS 

The Michigan Movie Critics Guild will announce nominations and winners annually, recognizing the best films of the year.  Each year by September 15th, or soon after a list of members in good standing has been established, the Board will present the membership with a list of all Award Categories for the current year. Any member of the MMCG in good standing and meet all eligibility requirements for membership can recommend new categories to be added or existing categories to be deleted but must do so in writing to the Board by August 1st of each year. Category suggestions received after this date will not be considered. The new category suggestions will be considered and a final category list will be presented to the membership by September 15th of each year. Majority rules, with any ties being decided by the majority vote.

The voting process will be reviewed annually by the Board.

MMCG Leadership Committee

The leadership of the MMCG is conducted by a rotating Board and the will of its members.  The Board oversees the MMCG roster and membership policy.  The Board is responsible for admitting new members, evaluating compliance of current members, overseeing the financial needs of the MMCG, and working as a liaison between the Guild and the film industry.

The Board consists of individuals appointed or elected to 12-month terms, beginning January 1st and ending December 31st of the elected year. All members in good standing are eligible to be considered as candidates for the Board, none of which have titles. Voting will take place during the awards season of November and December each year.

The Board, with input from the membership, are given the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the MMCG as a whole, by a majority vote amongst them.

In the event of a vacancy, the membership will appoint a person to fill that position.

DUES AND FINANCES  

An annual membership fee will be established every year and payment of this fee is required to be a member of the MMCG. Dues will be established by the Board and members will have transparency as to how this amount was established. Membership dues are due each year by August 1st. For 2023, the membership dues are $25. Any members who do not pay their dues by this time will be suspended from the membership and will be notified as such, but will be given a 10-day grace period to correct their status and pay their outstanding dues.

All expenditures must be approved by the Board. The dues are used to operate the MMCG including maintaining the group’s website, as well as fees associated with operating the MMCG and supplying all members on Awards Screening Days with food and drink.

BY-LAW AMENDMENTS AND RATIFICATION  

These By-Laws will take effect immediately. They will automatically be in place each year moving forward and will be reviewed as needed by the Board.