FINALISTS announced for the 2019 BJO AWARDS!

Each year at the annual TREKLANTA convention in Atlanta, GA, the Star Trek fan film community holds its version of the Academy Awards. But instead of Oscars, ours are called Bjos, named after legendary fan BJO TRIMBLE, who is credited with having saved Star Trek from cancellation back in 1968.

This will be the fifth consecutive year that Treklanta has honored Star Trek fan films and their creators with awards. Originally named the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, the name was changed to honor Bjo Trimble after the 2016 awards were presented by Mrs. Trimble herself. For a full listing of previous winners and the complete history of these awards, click here to visit their website.

Treklanta will be held this coming weekend at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel, and tickets are still available. The guest list includes Star Trek cast members and background players, authors, artists, fan filmmakers, fan club representatives, and a host of others. While not a large convention, those who attend Treklanta always have VERY positive things to say about the experience there.

Fan film selections are made by Treklanta Chairman ERIC L. WATTS based on Star Trek fan films released during the previous calendar year and which meet certain requirements for eligibility. (For a complete list of all 28 selections for this year’s competition, click here.) Then finalists are chosen for various categories (this year, there are 11) based on points determined by a panel of judges. Typically, there are four finalists per category, but occasionally, an unbreakable tie for fourth place ups the number of finalists in a specific category.

The judges this year are Diana Dru Botsford, Andrew Greenberg, Jason P. Hunt, Deborah Stevenson, William Schlichter, and Andrew Wallace. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony to be held Sunday afternoon, May 26, at Treklanta. Presenters will include Aron Eisenberg, Bill Blair, and Nichole McAuley.

Below is a list of finalists with links to the films…

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TREKLANTA announces BJO AWARDS qualifying fan films!

While Star Trek fan films might have a small presence at certain independent conventions, and while a few film festivals now feature categories for “fan films” to enter, there remains only one annual convention dedicated to Star Trek and Star Trek fan films: TREKLANTA.

Treklanta will be taking place over Memorial Day weekend (May 24-26) at the impressive Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel. Although small in size, the convention usually gets rave reviews, and the celebrity guests are fairly impressive, including a mix of folks from TV Star Trek, written Star Trek, fan club Star Trek, and of course, Star Trek fan films. Among the guests are…

  • Aron Eisenberg – “Nog” on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,
  • Nichole McAuley – A frequent background actress on Voyager and occasional body double for Jeri Ryan’s character Seven of Nine,
  • David R. George IIIThe New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who co-wrote the first-season Star Trek: Voyager episode “Prime Factors” and the author of 18 Star Trek novels and 18 articles for Star Trek Magazine,
  • Paul Jenkins – Eisner Award winning writer of both DC and Marvel Comics characters and current director and co-writer of the upcoming Axanar fan film sequels,
  • Randall Landers – Founder and show-runner for the numerous fan series released by Potemkin Pictures,
  • Greg Teft – actor in fan films including Starship Republic, episodes of the Minard saga, and the upcoming Constar Chronicles (for which he also wrote and directed a two-part episode).
  • Dan Toole – the president of STARFLEET, the International Star Trek Fan Association (the world’s oldest continuously active Trek fan club…I’ve been a member since 1983!)

There are other guests, too, and you can view them here.


But by far, the most anticipated aspect of Treklanta is the annual BJO AWARDS, named after the legendary fan savior of Star Trek, Bjo Trimble. Each year for the past half-decade, these awards have been presented in a number of different categories to numerous Star Trek fan films. They are the closest thing our community has to the Oscars. The judges are kept anonymous to avoid “lobbying” (and no, I am not a judge), and the winners are announced during the convention—with awards presented to the winners.

Each year, selections are made from the Star Trek fan films that were released the previous calendar that meet certain eligibility requirements. This year’s requirements are the following…

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Fan Film BJO AWARDS Wikipedia page almost gets deleted!

Whew!  We fan film Trekkers just dodged a bullet!  Well, maybe not a bullet, per se, but certainly a bit of bird poop heading straight for our windshield!

Many of you might not be aware that there is actually a Wikipedia page for the BJO Awards, which are given out each year in multiple categories to the best Star Trek fan films.  Presented each year at the annual TREKLANTA convention in Georgia, the BJOs were first called the The Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards and began in 2015.  The awards were renamed “The Bjo’s” the following year when Bjo Trimble (the fan credited with saving Star Trek from cancelation with the great letter-writing campaign back in 1968) and her husband John were in attendance in announce the winners.

With four years of nominees and winning films/actors/directors/etc., plus coverage on Trek Today, Trekmovie.com, Treksphere, and here on Fan Film Factor, I wasn’t surprised to discover a few weeks ago that a fan film aficionado calling himself “Leo Walsh” had created a very nicely laid out and thorough Wikipedia page for the Bjo Awards.  (And no, it wasn’t me.  I don’t have nearly enough time to do that much work!)

Yesterday, I discovered through the grapevine that the Bjo Awards Wikipedia entry had been anonymously nominated for DELETION by a Wiki non-admin going by the name of “ShadowOwl.”  I was sent this link to the challenge and the response.  Apparently, ShadowOwl’s problem was stated as simply: “Non-notable award only sourced to IMDB.”

Huh?

The original entry was extensively sourced to numerous outlets (including my blog and others), and Mr. Walsh responded with a very passionate and well-presented counter-argument.

I was quickly preparing a “RED ALERT!” blog asking if there might be any reader(s) who operate as a Wikipedia author or editor—or who might know one—and could help out in the discussion to resolve the issue.

But before I could even finish writing the blog (let alone publish it), the nomination  for deletion was withdrawn.  Yay!  However, not wanting to waste a well-written introduction, and figuring that most of you might not even be aware that there even is a Wikipedia entry for the Bjo Awards, I decided to post this blog anyway.  Check out the wiki-page—it’s REALLY well done!

 

Guest blogger ERIC L. WATTS discusses having ALEC PETERS at Treklanta… (editorial)

Today, please welcome special Guest Blogger ERIC L. WATTS, Chairman of the annual TREKLANTA convention in Atlanta, GA and the organizer of the BJO Awards that honor the top Star Trek fan films each year.  Eric and Treklanta have been an important and integral part of theTrek fan film community for many years now—screening fan productions, featuring fan film panel discussions and guests, an generally giving support and validation to the genre.

Treklanta 2018 took place over the Memorial Day weekend and featured a couple of panels focusing on fan films.  Everything was going great until it was announced that ALEC PETERS of AXANAR would be taking part in these panels.  Then the shat hit the fans, and Eric was berated by angry e-mails and Facebook posts and even a phone call telling him how wrong he was for letting Alec Peters anywhere near his convention…let alone allowing Alec to be an announced guest on two panels.

The blowback both privately and on social media blasting Eric over Alec’s presence at Treklanta became so intense that I asked Eric if he’d like to comment on it here on Fan Film Factor in a blog I was preparing last week about the Bjo Awards.

Eric agreed, but his comment was so thorough and heartfelt that I decided it would be better to let it stand in its entirety as a separate guest blog.  My apologies to you and Eric for the delay in getting it posted (one week), but with two different crowd-funders ending, it’s been a very crowded seven days of blogs (and I was away in Santa Barbara over the weekend).

Anyway, here’s what Eric had to say about Alec Peters and panels at Treklanta…

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Have the new GUIDELINES really hindered the production of STAR TREK FAN FILMS? (panel video from Treklanta)

Photo courtesy of Lee Drew

The annual TREKLANTA con in Atlanta, GA is not a particularly huge convention, but it is one of the most fan-film-friendly cons you’re likely to find anywhere.  This is thanks in large part to Chairman ERIC L. WATTS, who organizes the convention along with Treklanta’s annual BJO AWARDS for the best Star Trek fan films from the previous year.  And there’s usually at least a panel or two dedicated to a particular fan film or fan films in general.

This year, the most notable fan film panel was being led by RANDY LANDERS, show-runner for POTEMKIN PICTURES in Pelham, AL, which has produced about five dozen Trek fan films over the past eight years!  The title of the panel: “Have the new guidelines really hindered the production of Star Trek fan films?”

Good question!

To help answer this, Randy invited five additional noted Star Trek fan filmmakers to join him for a lively panel discussion:

JOSE E. CEPEDA -Show-runner and lead actor on the long-running STAR TREK: NATURES HUNGER web series.

GREG TEFT – Cast member of STARSHIP: REPUBLIC, which will soon be filming more fan productions on the former Star Trek Continues “Stage 9” sets in GA.

GLEN L. WOLFE – Co-owner of the STARBASE STUDIOS sets in AR and the show-runner of THE FEDERATION FILES anthology series.

MARK NACCARATO – Show-runner for the upcoming Trek fan project THE ROMULAN WAR, which is crowd-funding right now!  (Have you donated yet???)

ALEC PETERS – Head of Axanar Productions and Executive Producer of PRELUDE TO AXANAR.

Interestingly , when Alec’s participation on the panel was announced, even though the panelists were all fine with it, apparently a number of detractors weren’t.  Eric L. Watts was berated with e-mails and criticism in detractor social media groups.  (I’ve invited Eric to comment on that separately as a guest blogger later this week.)

The panel discussion was really enlightening and fun to watch.  And thanks to a video shot by LEE DREW (and posted here with the blessing of both Lee and Eric), you get to watch it, as well (in two parts)…

BJO FAN FILM AWARD WINNERS for 2018 announced!

For the past four years, the annual TREKLANTA Convention has hosted an awards ceremony for the best Star Trek fan films released during the previous year.  Initially called the “Independent Star Trek Film Awards,” the name was shorted to “The Bjo Awards” last year in honor of Bjo Trimble, the woman credited with saving Star Trek from an early cancellation by NBC by coordinating the great letter-writing campaign back in 1968.

The Bjo’s for 2018 were awarded this past weekend in a variety of categories (see the full entry rules here).  Each category had four-to-six finalists selected from the following list of 21 nominees:

Release Date Run Time Series Name Episode
1/1/17 0:14:58 Star Trek: Natures Hunger Sting of the Prosecution
1/4/17 0:30:05 Starship Tristan Between Two Worlds
1/11/17 0:08:26 Starship Intrepid Duty of Care
1/13/17 0:11:33 Starship Deimos No Greater Love
2/1/17 0:20:42 Chance Encounter
2/10/17 0:07:49 Starship Tristan Seeing Red
2/20/17 0:57:20 Quark’s Space Station Too Much Traffic
4/2/17 0:54:11 Star Trek Continues Still Treads the Shadow
4/4/17 0:14:17 Starship Tristan Departures
4/29/17 0:15:00 Survivors
5/26/17 0:14:09 Starship Deimos The Archive
7/30/17 0:49:13 Star Trek Continues What Ships Are For
7/31/17 0:14:31 Starship Tristan The Monsters Are With Us
8/13/17 0:07:56 Starship Tristan The Voice of Your Blood
8/18/17 0:28:20 The Federation Files Extraction
9/8/17 0:12:18 The Derelict
10/18/17 0:46:34 Star Trek Continues To Boldly Go, Part I
11/13/17 0:58:10 Star Trek Continues To Boldly Go, Part II
12/14/17 0:05:47 Starship Triton New Orders
12/29/17 0:10:13 Star Trek: The Mirror Frontier
12/30/17 0:13:35 The Federation Files Walking Bear, Running Wolf

You might have noticed that all four Star Trek Continues episodes from 2017 are on this list, meaning that there was definitely an 800-pound mugato to contend with this past year (four mugatos, in fact!).  As such, many of the results below might not seem all that unexpected.  That said, there were still a couple of surprises.

Also, I’d like to add, on a personal note, that who won isn’t as important as who participated and, most of all, that these awards are given out annually in the first place.  All Star Trek fan films are worthy of our respect and celebration because, whether slick and polished or just grass roots with some soil showing, these productions each resulted from hard work, dedication, and love Star Trek.

So if you haven’t seen some of the nominees above, think about clicking on a few of the links.  You just might be pleasantly surprised!

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Thirty-three NOMINEES announced for the 2017 INDEPENDENT STAR TREK FAN FILM AWARDS

It’s award season here in Hollywood–the Golden Globes, the People’s Choice, and the Oscars (to name just a few)–to honor the best movies and performances and cinematic achievements of the past year.  But what about Star Trek fan fan films???

As it turns out, we have our own annual awards, too…or at least we have for the past three years.

The first INDEPENDENT STAR TREK FAN FILM AWARDS were handed out at the 2015 TREKLANTA convention (in Atlanta…in case you weren’t sure) for Star Trek fan films released in calendar year 2014.  Thirteen fan films entered, and awards were given out in nine categories.

The following year, seventeen different fan films entered and the categories were expanded to thirteen.  Judges for the two previous years have included such notables as Diana Dru Botsford, Peter David, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Michael DeMeritt, Ken Feinberg, Matthew M. Foster, Andrew Greenberg, David Orange, Emmett Plant, Susan Sackett, and Rick Sternbach.  This year’s judges will be revealed after ballots are collected in March (we don’t want the judges getting badgered to vote this way or that).  And the winners will be announced live at Treklanta on April 30.

The categories this year will be:

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Independent Star Trek Film Awards – Winners Announced!

Independent Fn Film AwardsAlthough the Treklanta convention has not yet (as of this posting) updated their website, they have created a video announcing their winners for 2016.  This is their second year presenting these awards.

Alec Peters of Star Trek: Axanar, who attended the event in Atlanta, just posted a list of all of the winners in text format (which is faster to read than watching the entire 9-minute video).

In summary, of the 13 categories, Star Trek: Renegade‘s pilot episode/movie won 7 awards, and Star Trek Continues‘ episode “The White Iris” won 5 awards.  The only other winner was the just-launched new series Starship Tristan and its debut episode “Moving Day.”

The only fan film/series represented at the con to receive their award in person was Starship Tristan.