Submissions for this year’s Star Trek Fan Film SHOWRUNNER AWARDS are now complete. It feels like only yesterday when I announced the entrants for last year’s inaugural competition! (Well, maybe not yesterday…but certainly not a full year ago!!!) For our previous running, we had a whopping 38 Star Trek fan films submitted, totaling just a smidge under 13 hours of viewing time for our twelve judges.
This year, our number of entrants is a smidge below two-thirds of that: 21 fan films. That lower total isn’t too surprising to me. Last year, a quarter of our submissions came from one person, VANVE MAJOR, who decided to enter TEN of his CONSTAR saga fan films! Vance, who announced his final retirement from Star Trek fan filmmaking last year, has decided to sit it out this time, which is fine.
Other fan films like SQUADRON, THE HOLY CORE, BEYOND THE SUN, AGENT OF NEW WORLDS, PACIFIC 201, INTERLUDE, STAR TREK: FIRST FRONTIER, and CHANCE ENCOUNTER won enough awards last year that their creators didn’t feel the need to enter again, as a fan film is only allowed to win once in any specific category. One fan films has returned this year for a second chance at the winners’ circle, but most haven’t, resulting in fewer entries.
And speaking of entering the same film multiple times, I’m considering shortening the window of eligibility from 5 years to something less, like only 2 or 3 years. I still feel strongly that fan films should get at least one extra chance to compete, rather than being eligible in only a single year. But while the first year’s submissions spanned the full five years of eligibility (2017-2021), all but 3 of our 21 submissions for this year were for fan films released during the previous calendar year of 2022. It’s certainly something for the judges and me to discuss going into 2024’s contest, but feel free to chime in with a blog comment or e-mail to me your thoughts.
In the meantime, I am very excited about this year’s entrants because there will be ample more widely-competitive categories this time. Last year cleared out many of the “giants” (from a whole bunch of years) that were, admittedly, extremely hard to compete against. But that leaves this year with a significantly more level playing field.
So while the judges have only about 60% as many films to watch and judge this year (and only 5 and 2/3 hours needed to view them all), I suspect that judging those submissions is going to be MUCH harder. We shall see.
Like last year, the winners will be announced on Star Trek‘s anniversary of September 8, 2023. There are 22 categories this year, with three winners in each category: Admiral, Captain, and Commander level. I salute all of our 21 entrants for 2023, and I wish each of them the best of luck and encourage you, the reader, to watch as many as you can…