Club News

Judging Films – What’s involved? 6th October

Surrey Border Movie Makers club welcomed special guest Tom Hardwick who is a BIAFF (British International Amateur Film Festival) judge at their October meeting.

There were many questions about judging a film including:

    • Have you ever wondered what it is like to judge a film?
    • Why do the judges sometimes seem to get it wrong?
    • What criteria do they use?
    • What do the BIAFF star ratings mean?
    • And what makes a good critique?

Together with Tom Hardwick, Tim Stannard who is the Surrey Borders club Competition Officer and also a BIAFF judge explained the methods used to obtain the requirements of not only making but also judging a winning film.

SoCo the Southern Counties Region of the IAC (Institute of Amateur Cinematographers) have also adopted the BIAFF’s star rating system which works very well.

Several past BIAFF entry films were watched during the evening and the audience were then asked to make their own judgement and award their own BIAFF start ratings against each film.


The star ratings range from five to one star.

Five Stars is for an excellent film which is well structured, technically excellent, appealing, with a high standard of acting and well researched etc.

Four Stars is for a very good film with a good storyline and shows good technical ability and artistic features etc. but may have minor flaws.

Three Stars is a good film with well balanced sound, structure, planning and content and can also hold the viewers’ attention.

Two Stars are for films which do not quite hit the mark with the judges due to inadequate cinematography, sound errors, voice over problems or editing issues etc.

One Star is for those films which lack several important issues which would have made it  effective  in engaging the viewer.

The overall conclusion is that there is ‘no perfect system’ when it comes to judging a film, but the discussion during the evening made the audience aware that a great deal of analysing goes into all aspects of rating a film.