ABOUT AFCOOP JURIES
AFCOOP runs a variety of filmmaking programs throughout the year, many of which are open to the public, and some of which are only open to AFCOOP members. Access to these programs is competitive because we do not have the resources or capacity for everyone who applies to participate. Decisions about acceptance are made by peer-assessment juries, facilitated by staff. AFCOOP staff members are never part of the decision making process, in order for them to remain impartial and be able to assist applicants with their applications.
Jury Composition: For each program, AFCOOP assembles a new jury composed of three members chosen for their skills and experience in filmmaking. In the summer of 2020, AFCOOP introduced a policy requiring each jury to consist of a miminum of one member who self-identifies as female or non-binary and a minimum of one member who identifies as BIPOC. No individual may serve on more than one jury in a year and although the composition of each individual jury is confidential, we publish a list of all the previous year’s jury members each summer at our AGM.
Evaluation Criteria: Juries are given clear instructions about how to assess applications and are asked to evaluate projects based on our three main criteria: creative potential of the project; feasibility of making the project; and applicant’s suitability/readiness for the program.*
Self-Identification: Again starting in the summer of 2020, all application forms now include a section where applicants are able to self-identify as female or non-binary and Indigenous, visible minority, disabled people or LGBTQ2+. These self-identification questions are optional. The specific answers to these questions are not shared with juries, but points are added to applicants’ scores based on their answers.
Jury Feedback: Staff take notes during the jury meetings and upon request will summarize this feedback for the applicant and provide it in email form to help with future applications. When receiving this feedback it is important for applicants to remember that a jury’s decision is not a personal judgment but rather an assessment of an application in comparison to other applications for a particular program at a particular time. We encourage all applicants, whether successful or not, to continue to apply to our programming.
Unsuccessful Applications: All of AFCOOP’s programs are competitive and as a result, many applications will not be successful. We understand a lot of work goes into each application and it isn’t easy to hear a “no”. Try to use the feedback as a way to learn and improve your next application. We strongly encourage all applicants, whether successful or not, to continue to apply to our programming. We are here to support you during the application process and would be more than happy to answer any questions you have so please don’t hesitate to ask, that’s what we’re here for. Don’t give up!
Please note: AFCOOP staff are never involved in the decision-making of juries. They are present during jury meetings to facilitate proceedings, to advise jury members about eligibility, to make notes and answer specific questions the jury members have about the program being discussed.
Participating on a Jury: AFCOOP is always looking for people to participate on our peer-assessment juries. Jury members are paid for reading and evaluating applications at a rate of $25/hr. Rates for each application round are based on the number of applications and the length it takes to read each one. If you are interested in participating on a future AFCOOP jury we invite you to submit your information through this form.
*These are the main criteria we use for the majority of programs, however occasionally a program may use a slightly different set of criteria.