Hollywood has its Oscar. New York has its Tony. Now, Oklahoma has its Chastain, an award named in honor of Jim Chastain, a founding member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and a film critic committed to the highest standards of the profession. Chastain died in 2009 after a long struggle against a rare form of cancer.
Members of OFCC, the statewide organization of professional film critics, inaugurated the Chastain Award in 2008 to celebrate their colleague’s lifelong passion for film as both viewer and reviewer. In addition to a significant body of film criticism, Chastain wrote screenplays, songs, poetry, feature stories and nonfiction books while working as a lawyer for the state of Oklahoma
Any student in an Oklahoma community college, college or university may submit two to three pieces of film criticism/review in either print or broadcast formats, two to three samples of writing from a film blog, a film essay from a classroom assignment or a film script/screenplay for consideration. The Chastain includes a cash award of $500 and a plaque. If the field of entrants merits it, one or two runners up may receive a certificate and $100 each as Honorable Mentions.
The entered work may have been published in a student publication or aired on a student audio or video broadcast or appeared on a student-run website. It may also be unpublished but directed at one of these publication categories or written for a class. Scholarly papers or screenplays/film scripts written for a class or outside the class structure are valid entries. If the work has been edited for publication or commented upon/graded by an instructor or editor, the entrant should include both the original draft and the edited work as it appeared.