National Society of Film Critics

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) is an American film critics association . It gives every year the National Society of Film Critics Award (NSFC Award), which together with the Oscar , the Golden Globe Award , the Best Director Award of the Directors Guild of America and the awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association to ranks among the top film awards in the United States.


In 1966, Hollis Alpert founded the National Society of Film Critics in his New York apartment, together with other film critics, after some members of the New York Film Critics Circle objected to the selection of their annual film award winners as being too conventional and ultra-conservative and left this association. The National Society of Film Critics today consists of 61 active members who represent various newspapers and publications (print and online) from the United States, primarily from Los Angeles and New York . The NSFC has been a member of the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI), the international association of film critics and film journalists, since 1999 , and is one of the most respected professional associations of its kind in North America.

The Critics' Association is known for its highly intellectual taste in films. The award of their prizes every year at the beginning of January for the best film productions and filmmakers of the past calendar year is often described as unorthodox, which means that they are not considered an important guide for the annual Academy Awards. At the first National Society of Film Critics Awards in 1966, Michelangelo Antonioni's unconventional Blow Up was the only American film critics' association to be chosen as the best film production of 1966, while Fred Zinnemann's at the Oscars, Golden Globes and the British Film Academy Awards classic historical drama A man triumphed in every season .

Blow Up's award was followed by an extraordinary number of victories in foreign or foreign-language feature film productions, including works by such renowned directors as Luis Buñuel ( The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie ), Constantin Costa-Gavras ( Z ), Akira Kurosawa ( Ran ), Éric Rohmer ( Claire's knee ) or François Truffaut ( The American Night ). The most successful filmmaker is Ingmar Bergman , whose works received eighteen awards between 1968 and 1978, including seven awards for the Swedish film director and screenwriter himself. American productions (including co-productions) have been recognized by the National Society of Film over the 51-year history Critics has been named the best film of the year "only" 30 times so far, with the NSFC having voted five times for the best film of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , which awards the Oscars. The most frequently awarded actors are the Americans Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson , who have so far received four and five actor awards respectively.

Price categories

In the first edition of the film award, the National Society of Film Critics Award was given in four categories. Currently, winners are awarded annually in up to eleven different categories, with the award for the best foreign language film of the year only being awarded if an English-language feature film production triumphs as the best film of the year. The winners are honored with an engraved certificate at a ceremony that is so simple compared to the Oscars or Golden Globe Awards. Special prizes such as the Special Award (“Special Prize”), a Special Citation (“Honorable Mention”) or the Richard and Hilda Rosenthal Foundation Award are given out irregularly .

In the past, the winners were determined in several ballots, with each NSFC member present recording three favorites per category on their ballot paper, which are awarded three, two and one point in descending order of performance.

The price categories for 2019 at a glance:

category Original name (s) awarded since
Best movie Best picture 1967
Best director Best Director 1967
Best Actor Best Actor 1967
Best main actress Best Actress 1967
Best supporting actor Best Supporting Actor 1968
The best supporting actress Best Supporting Actress 1968
Best script Best screenplay 1968
Best camera Best Cinematography 1968
Best foreign language film Best Foreign Language Film 1991
Best documentary Best Documentary / Best Non-Fiction Film 1984
Special prices) Special Award / Heritage Award / Best Experimental Film / Best Film Still Awaiting American Distribution irregular


The NSFC also acts as the publisher of book anthologies on film. A selection:

  • James Bernard (Ed.): The X-list: the National Society of Film Critics' movies that turn us on. Da Capo, Cambridge, Mass. 2005, ISBN 0-306-81445-5 .
  • Stuart Byron, Elisabeth Weis: The National Society of Film Critics on movie comedy. Grossman Publishers, New York 1977, ISBN 0-670-49186-1 .
  • James Carr (Ed.): The A list: the National Society of Film Critics' 100 essential films. Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA 2002, ISBN 0-306-81096-4 .
  • Richard T. Jameson: They went thataway: redefining film genres. Mercury House, San Francisco 1994, ISBN 1-56279-055-2 .
  • Peter Keough: Flesh and blood: the National Society of Film Critics on sex, violence, and censorship. Mercury House, San Francisco 1995, ISBN 1-56279-076-5 .
  • Peter Rainer: Love and hisses: the National Society of Film Critics sound off on the hottest movie controversies. Mercury House, San Francisco 1992, ISBN 1-56279-031-5 .
  • Michael Sragow: Produced and abandoned: the best films you've never seen. Mercury House et al., San Francisco 1990, ISBN 0-916515-84-2 .
  • Elisabeth Weis: The National Society of Film Critics on the movie star. Viking Press, New York 1981, ISBN 0-670-49187-X .


  • Michael Gebert: The encyclopedia of movie awards. St. Martin's Paperbacks, New York 1996, ISBN 0-312-95723-8 .
  • Tad B. Hammer: International film prizes: an encyclopedia. St. James Press, Chicago et al. 1991, ISBN 0-8240-7099-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans-Jürgen Kubiak: The Oscar Films. Schüren, Marburg 2005.
  2. cf. Presentation at (English; accessed January 9, 2011)
  3. cf. Hammer, p. 601.
  4. "Voting tattle: How 'Blood' swept the national critics' awards" (accessed January 4, 2009) at, January 7th of 2008.