Why I am officially WITHDRAWING my name from consideration in The 2022 TREKZONE Fan Film Awards…

You know me. I love Star Trek fan films and I LOVE the fact that there are now SO many Star Trek fan film award competitions, including the annual BJO AWARDS, the recently-concluded DIRECTORS CHOICE AWARDS, and the brand new SHOWRUNNER AWARDS, which is currently accepting submissions of fan films released between January 2017 and December 2021. If you haven’t entered yet, the deadline is May 31, and the application form can be accessed here:


Shortly after I published my blog announcing the launch of the Showrunner Awards on April 11, a small number of detractors rushed to criticize those awards for charging a $10 entrance fee. Fair enough—to each his own. GLEN WOLFE and DAN REYNOLDS charged $10, as well (although we’re charging an extra $1 per additional category like Best Music or Best Cinematographer). It’s actually pretty common with independent film award shows, although ERIC L. WATTS doesn’t charge anything to enter the Bjo Awards. Different strokes for different folks, right? No one’s forcing anyone to enter anything.

Within less than a week, MATTHEW MILLER of the TREKZONE Podcast in Australia quickly announced the launch of his own fan film awards show that would be FREE to all fan filmmakers. Hooray…FOUR award shows! I was getting ready to cover it once Matthew announced how fan filmmakers could enter, but apparently Matthew wasn’t planning to do it that way.

Setting a window of eligibility for fan films released between April 15 of last year and April 15 of this year, Matthew and his co-judge MTM (that’s a pseudonym) decided all by themselves who would be entered and who wouldn;t be…and then announced the finalists this past Tuesday on YouTube.

My fan film INTERLUDE had 10 nominations, which is great, of course….huge honor. And yes, I had a great team (although two of our nominations were for “Best Space Villain”—the Klingons—and “Best Hero Ship”—the U.S.S. Ares…neither of them able to give an acceptance speech).

Surprisingly, though, some fan films that I thought would be shoo-ins were almost completely excluded. While Interlude had an impressive 10 nominations in ten categories, the AVALON UNIVERSE’s COSMIC STREAM received only one nomination (TYLER DUNNIVAN for “Best Actor”) and shockingly AGENT OF NEW WORLDS got zero nominations, not even for best directing or editing .

Two other highly regarded and long-running Star Trek fan series also had their latest episodes passed over with no nominations in any category: DREADNOUGHT DOMINION‘s “THE MORE THINGS CHANGE” and STARSHIP FARRAGUT‘s series final “HOMECOMING.” It didn’t see fair that Interlude would be hogging so many of the nomination slots, but hey, not my contest.

However, there’s been something else that’s really been bothering me forr the past two weeks…

While I waited until the Directors Choice Awards were completed to announce the Showrunner Awards (and we kept both far away from when the Bjo Awards happen later in the year), Matthew rushed to put his awards show together and have it reach its maximum fanfare during the same seven weeks when the Showrunner Awards were accepting submissions.

Coincidence? Possibly. After all, I have no idea how long Matthew had been planning his award show. Perhaps months?

Or perhaps not.

Tag-teaming with JUSTIN BURTON, the two of them seem to have launched a campaign to purposefully sabotage the Showrunner Awards by discouraging fan filmmakers from entering. They have been blanketing Facebook with comments like these…

Let’s face it, that’s just not cricket…as they say Down Under. And if it were just one or two times saying things like that, fine—I’m happy to look the other way. But the rhetoric from both of them has been incessant and building in frequency and intensity. Even in the TrekZone video announcement that I linked to above, Matthew goes out of his way to mention twice in the introduction that his award show is FREE…like a Sit & Sleep mattress if you can beat their price.

Look, I don’t want to spend an entire blog slinging mud, and I certainly don’t want to diminish anyone who is a nominee in Matthew’s awards show. There are many fine fan filmmakers on his and MTM’s list, many of them are personal friends of mine. And I wish all of them luck.

But I cannot, in good conscience, take part in an awards show that purposefully tries to sabotage another awards show…whether it’s mine, Glen and Dan’s, or anyone else’s in our community. It is a community, after all.

Before committing to my decision to completely withdraw Interlude from consideration in Matthew’s award show, I called up my good friend and co-showrunner on the project, JOSHUA IRWIN, to discuss the matter. Josh felt strongly—and it didn’t take much to convince me—that pulling the entire fan film out of the judging would needlessly hurt others who were nominated for their craft and hard work, and that totally wasn’t fair to them (although the Klingons and U.S.S. Ares would probably get over it).

So instead, I informed Matthew last night that I was withdrawing just my own name from consideration in the category of “Best Executive Producer/Producer.” Obviously, the rest of the nominations for Interlude will remain…down to 9 then.

The reason I’ve written this blog is because I’d rather say something on the record about my decision than say nothing and let others choose all the adjectives. I can’t in good conscience support someone who, in league with Justin Burton, has chosen to purposefully try to undermine another member of the fan film community who is only trying to bring a little more fun and camaraderie to our whacky obsession…along with more visibility to some amazing Star Trek fan films.

To those remaining in Matthew’s contest, I wish them all the best. And believe it or not, I wish the best for Matthew, as well—not Justin, though; he’s just a bitter, spiteful bully with a toxic attitude…

Believe it or not, Justin posts stuff like that dozens of times each day! He exists within a cocoon of endless hatred and resentment. (I think I’ll start calling him “Armus.”)

But it’s obvious that Matthew and his anonymous partner from Perth are working very hard to make this a special event. I simply wish (so deeply!) that Matthew would choose to encourage people to participate in other fan film award competitions—regardless of what he thinks of the person running that competition—rather than trying to repeatedly undermine the efforts of those he personally does not approve of.

It’s totally not cricket.

18 thoughts on “Why I am officially WITHDRAWING my name from consideration in The 2022 TREKZONE Fan Film Awards…”

    1. Most indie film festivals start at $25 and are usually closer to $50-$75 to enter…plus $15-$45 per additional category. Eventually (and rather quickly), I stopped entering Interlude into film festivals simply for cost reasons.

  1. I lost all interest when I discovered Matt Miller was involved. He’s a two-faced wanna-be Fox News host. He’s the mouthpiece for a group of haters, and anything he’s involved in is suspect.

  2. You left out two key tidbits of information:
    1. You are charging people not for the awards but because you are funding your own website with it
    2. The above screenshots are from a private group and you left out many parts where you acted like a spoiled child and eere given warnings to stop

    1. Actually, I’m charging people to enter, not to mail them a plaque. Awards are not a guarantee. I’ve paid to enter Interlude in seven indie film awards shows so far. I’ve won two, lost two, and the judging for the remaining three is still in process. But for those two contests that I paid to enter and lost, I was not paying for an award…obviously. 🙂

      What I’ve learned is that nearly all film festivals charge an entry fee simply to keep themselves from being overwhelmed with entries, as there simply isn’t time to watch more than a certain number of films. Most festivals charge between $25 and $100 per entry for this reason…plus extra per category. You can verify this on FilmFreeway.com.

      As for the back-and-forth on Star Trek Fan Productions yesterday, you are correct that I was being confrontational…as were Justin and Matt (as they usually are). Yesterday was a difficult day for me, as my friend is dying and is very scared. Yes, he’s 67, which isn’t young. But it isn’t old either, and he has a wonderful wife, fantastic daughter, two loving grandkids, and many friends and family who are feeling very helpless and frustrated right now that the doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with his lungs. I don’t offer this as an excuse for my behavior yesterday…only as a reason. Most days I am able to look the other way, turn the other cheek, from the nearly constant barrage of sniping and grievance that comes from the direction of Axamonitor and especially Justin. Yesterday was not one of those days.

  3. Jonathan, you have always been about inclusion and fair play. Justin Burton is all about hate. He really is a vile human being. Matt Miller is indeed, as others have pointed out, a Fox-news hack, who openly is part of the Axamonitor hate group.

    The “selection” of nominees is not the way you do things in film festivals. No transparency, people hiding their real names (We can assume the mystery person is Carlos or Justin).

    The fact that they attack you is ridiculous, and against everything Star Trek is about. Everyone here supports YOU and your awards, as well as any other award show that has an actual set of ethics and principles. Matt Miller’s do not.

    And just like his YouTube channel has a tiny subscriber base because of his never ending attacks on Axanar and me personally, his awards will get no traction.

    1. Just for the record, MTM stands for “Monitoring the Axamonitor” or something like that, and the fellow lives in Perth, Australia. He has a blog site where he reports on what each side is saying. He leans slightly toward the hater end of the spectrum, but not nearly as much as Justin, Matt, Carlos, etc. Initially, I like many others assumed that MTM was simply Matt using an alias. But over the years, I’ve found MTM to be way too balanced in his reporting. Matt would never have the self-control to be so balanced, and also, it wouldn’t serve his purposes as MTM doesn’t always put the haters on the right side of the story.

      As for Matt’s award show, I doubt it’ll get much more coverage than the other shows, as fan films already have a pretty tiny audience. Obviously, the most coverage of the Showruner Awards will be from Fan Film Factor, but I haven’t decided yet whether or not to cover Matt’s results here. I know you’ll simply say, “Screw him! Let his awards pass into oblivion with zero coverage!” (Although you’ll probably choose a synonym for the word “screw.”) However, not covering the winners only hurts the winners, many of whom will likely be friends of mine, so the jury in my brain is still undecided.

    2. Alec. Equating Justin and Matt with Fox News watchers is painting with a terribly broad brush.
      One’s political leaning or choice of news service has nothing to do with one’s choice to publicly bad mouth anyone without at least being asked for one’s opinion.
      I lean hard Right, monitor several news sources, and have opinions on issues that neither you nor Jonathan would likely agree with yet I have never bad mouthed either of you on them or on the operations of your respective Trek fan outlets or postings.
      Because you and Jonathan play fair with almost everyone (Axamomitor and crew being the only possible exception and you both tried hard with them as well). That is the kind of thing that is important.

      In comparison, I have also heard and read some rather vile and hateful things come from CNN and MSNBC “hacks”.

      Most of us that watch Fox News are not as hateful, and far more inclusive and tolerant than most MSM outlets would have you believe.

        1. To be fair, I did mention that there were issues you, I, and Alec were going to disagree on, and that article names most of them.
          I also fall into that ‘white, elderly (58), Trump supporter’ demographic thw article mentions.
          Still does not counter the point of my experience. I live on a very Right leaning area of America but there are Left leaners here. We all have discussions and disagreements about politics over a cold bottle of beer and nobody gets nasty about it (online or face to face), no one gets shot over it. Sure we get salty with each other sometimes but we inevitably agree to disagree and go on about life.
          No one gets harassed or attacked for being any of the ‘minorities’ Lefties claim Righties hate.
          While there are currently no Muslims here, we have all the rest and we mostly get along.
          Why? Because we all have to live next to and work with each other everyday.

          Is it possible my area is insular and unique? Maybe, but I very much doubt it.

          1. My best friend is a conservative who hosted a GOP fundraiser at his home in Beverly Hills attended by Mike Pence back in 2020. My friend voted for Trump twice (although he now regrets the second vote). We have regular knock-down, drag-out political debates in person and through e-mail. Then we watch Star Trek and The Walking Dead together once a week. 🙂

  4. As I noted in another post, I’m not strongly drawn to the world of fan films. But I do watch them when there’s something special that calls to me. Awards are one important marker for me about which ones stand out and thus become more interesting to me.

    It’s too bad that a few people have nothing better to do with their time than to stir up trouble unnecessarily.

  5. Jonathan, I’ve always known you to be a kind , gentle and very generous man. To read what the bully wrote broke my heart. So I will give you the Shuey award for executive producer. You may have to share that with Alec but love is worth sharing.

  6. Jonathon, you fail to point out the horrible irony of those two persons; they trash talk you and your awards contest but include your fan film in their contest.

    I support your choice.

  7. Exactly what I have been saying.

    Although, I did not vote for Trump in 2016, I voted for an independent.
    Figured Trump was a buffoon and had no trust in Clinton.

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