Detroit Film Critics Society By-Laws


The Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS) is a professional association comprised of Detroit-based film critics and journalists working in print and/or electronic media and operating within a 150-mile radius of Detroit, MI, or whose work primarily appears in the Metro-Detroit market. The purpose of the DFCS is to honor excellence in U.S. and world cinema and to promote the film industry within the state of Michigan when possible. Each DFCS critic has an obligation to publicize the society and the announcement of the year-end award winners via their medium.


The DFCS Leadership Committee conducts leadership of the DFCS. The Leadership Committee oversees the DFCS roster and membership policy and is responsible for admitting new members, evaluating compliance of current members, overseeing the financial needs of the DFCS, and working as a liaison between the society and the film industry.

The Leadership Committee consists of three individuals elected to 12-month terms, beginning January 1st and ending December 31st of the elected year. All members are eligible to be considered as candidates for the Leadership Committee, which consists of a President and two “At-Large” members. Voting will take place in December of each year. The three members of the Leadership Committee, are given the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the DFCS as a whole, by a majority vote amongst them.

In the event of a vacancy in the Leadership Committee, a special election will be held to fill the position, and upon the election results, the position will immediately be filled.


If a Leadership Committee decision is “officially challenged” by any member of the DFCS, a vote of the entire membership will be held to determine the final outcome. To officially challenge a DFCS Leadership Committee decision, a member must submit a challenge in writing to the President, who will then in turn call for a membership-wide vote. Majority of votes received wins, with each member of the Leadership Committee having a vote as well (any tie votes shall be decided by the President). All decisions are final.

The Leadership Committee will maintain the right to set the length of each membership wide election – for all elections – as needed, with at least 48 hours notice being given as a minimum, to ensure that all members have ample time to cast their votes. No quorum is needed and results will be final based on total number of votes received, with tie results being decided by the President.


As of July 1st each year, the Leadership Committee 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 DFCS, a professional critic must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have been paid to review at least 12 films during over the past 12 months, in an established publication (print, radio, television, or web). No more than two writers per publication are admitted. Membership is not automatic and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Leadership Committee.
  • Write for a publication/site or appear on broadcasts located within a 150-mile radius of Detroit, MI, or have provable roots to the area (to be considered on a case-by-case basis).
  • Must be current on DFCS dues and updated personal contact information.
    • Dues and Contact Info 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 – 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 September 1st of each year, a full list of active DFCS membership will be presented to the membership and posted on the DFCS website. The members on this list will be the only members involved in voting on the annual DFCS Awards.

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


The Detroit Film Critics Society will announce nominations and winners annually, recognizing the best films of the year.

Each year, by August 15th, or soon after a list of members in good standing has been established, the Leadership Committee will present the membership with a list of all Award Categories for the upcoming year. Any member of the DFCS in good standing and meeting 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 President by August 1st of each year. Category suggestions received after this date will not be considered. The new category suggestions will be presented to the entire membership for a vote and a final Category list will be presented to the membership by September 1st of each year. Majority rules with any ties being decided by the President’s vote.

The DFCS voting process will be reviewed annually by the Leadership Committee.


An annual membership fee will be established annually and payment of this fee is required to be a member of the DFCS. Dues will be established by the Leadership Committee and members will have transparency as to how this amount was established. Membership dues are due each year by August 1st.

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 dues.

The DFCS Leadership Committee will create and maintain a financial report as to how the dues are being utilized and will present this annually to the membership.

All expenditures from the DFCS account must be approved by the Leadership Committee with the exception of web-related and domain-name-related expenses used to maintain the website.


These By-Laws will take effect immediately upon a membership-wide vote. They will automatically be in place each year moving forward and will be reviewed annually by the Leadership Committee.

Any amendments or changes to these By-Laws can be done by presenting, in writing, the proposed change or amendment to a member of the DFCS Leadership Committee, which will in turn be voted on by the entire current, active membership, with a majority of the votes received passing the proposal.