Indiana Film Journalists Association

Promoting Film Criticism Across the Hoosier State

Indiana Film Journalists Association Announces 2023 Awards


The Indiana Film Journalists Association has named “Poor Things” the best film of 2023, a strong showing that also included Best Lead Performance for Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Performance, Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos, Best Adapted Screenplay (Tony McNamara), Original Vision and Best Ensemble Acting. Its seven wins is the most ever in the 15 years of the IFJA awards.

“Oppenheimer,” which was named runner-up for Best Film, also was runner-up in four other categories: directing, lead and supporting performance, and ensemble acting. It notched three wins: Cinematography, Editing and Musical Score. 

Eight other films were voted Finalists for Best Film. Along with the winner and runner-up, they represent the IFJA’s selection as the Top 10 movies of the year. 

“The Zone of Interest” was awarded Best Foreign Language Film and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” won Best Animated Film. “Kokomo City” was named Best Documentary.

David Hemingson took the Best Original Screenplay award for “The Holdovers.” Writer/director Celine Song earned the Breakout of the Year Award for her debut film, “Past Lives.”

The Edward Johnson-Ott Hoosier Award, which goes to a film or filmmaker with Indiana ties, went to Sam Mirpoorian, director of the documentary “Greener Pastures.”

IFJA members issued this statement for the Edward Johnson-Ott Hoosier Award:

“Sam Mirpoorian has shown that an Indiana-based filmmaker can make major waves across the cinematic landscape. His documentary ‘Greener Pastures’ is a powerful look at the lives of independent farmers shot over several years, traveling alongside them before and during Covid, observing their struggles with depression and substance abuse but always demanding we see their intrinsic dignity as those who nourish us. Mirpoorian has rendered those who were largely invisible indelible in our eyes and hearts.”

In addition to the winner, IFJA recognizes a runner-up in each category (with one exception, noted below). Here is the complete list:

Best Picture
Winner: Poor Things
Runner-up: Oppenheimer

Other Best Film Finalists: (listed alphabetically)

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.


The Holdovers

John Wick: Chapter 4

Killers of the Flower Moon

May December

Past Lives

Robot Dreams


Best Animated Film

Winner: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Runner-up: Robot Dreams


Best Foreign Language Film

Winner: The Zone of Interest

Runner-up: Godzilla Minus One


Best Documentary Film

Winner: Kokomo City

Runner-up: 20 Days in Mariupol


Best Original Screenplay

Winner: David Hemingson, The Holdovers

Runner-up: Samy Burch (screenplay/story) and Alex Mechanik (story), May December


Best Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Tony McNamara, Poor Things

Runner-up: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Barbie


Best Director

Winner: Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer


Best Lead Performance

Winner: Emma Stone, Poor Things

Runner-up: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer


Best Supporting Performance

Winner: Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Runner-up: Robert Downey, Jr., Oppenheimer


Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance

Winner: Hailee Steinfeld, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Runner-up: Shameik Moore, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


Best Ensemble Acting

Winner: Poor Things

Runner-up: Oppenheimer


Best Musical Score

Winner: Ludwig Göransson, Oppenheimer

Runner-up: Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon


Breakout of the Year

Winner: Celine Song, Past Lives

Runner-up: Charles Melton, May December


Best Cinematography

Winner: Hoyte van Hoytema, Oppenheimer

Runner-up: Dan Laustsen, John Wick: Chapter 4


Best Editing

Winner: Jennifer Lame, Oppenheimer

Runner-up: Thelma Schoonmaker, Killers of the Flower Moon


Best Stunt/Movement Choreography

Winner: Jeremy Marinas (fight coordinator), Scott Rogers (stunt coordinator) and Stephen Levy (stunt choreographer), John Wick: Chapter 4

Runner-up: Jennifer White (choreographer) and Lisa Welham (associate choreographer), Barbie


Original Vision Award

Winner: Poor Things

Runner-up: Barbie


The Edward Johnson-Ott Hoosier Award*

Winner: Director Sam Mirpoorian, Greener Pastures

*As a special honor, no runner-up is named for the Hoosier Award. It is named after founding IFJA member and longtime NUVO Newsweekly critic Edward Johnson-Ott.


What is the Indiana Film Journalists Association?

Established in 2009 by a dedicated group of six Indiana journalists, the Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA) is a growing organization of Indiana-based journalists and broadcasters who specialize in film criticism and commentary. All major dailies, weeklies and a variety of other print and electronic outlets are represented. IFJA was established to promote the art of film criticism in the Hoosier state, to support Indiana’s growing film industry and to promote quality film criticism in Indiana.

In addition to presenting our Annual Awards and Top Ten List, members of the Indiana Film Journalists Association stay active throughout the year serving on film festival juries, attending and sponsoring special screenings, appearing at film and genre-specific conferences, and speaking to civic groups, schools, media outlets and many other places.

Every year in mid-December, the IFJA presents awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Animated Film, Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Language Film. In 2011, IFJA added a category for Best Original Score! Additionally, IFJA has two extra special awards presented each year, the “Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award” and the “Original Vision” Award.

IFJA’s “Hoosier Award” is meant to recognize a significant cinematic contribution by a person or persons with Indiana roots. As a special award, no runner-up is declared. In 2021, the "Hoosier Award" has been renamed to celebrate the legacy of charter IFJA member and longtime Indy film critic Edward Johnson Ott. The award is now called the "Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award." 

IFJA’s “Original Vision Award” recognizes a cinematic achievement that is extraordinarily innovative or represents outstanding achievement in experimental and/or original filmmaking.

IFJA Bylaws

Updated January 2022


Members are expected to abide by our bylaws. Violation of bylaws can result in probationary membership (with conditions to be determined) or expulsion upon a majority vote of the entire membership.


Private Screenings Discouraged: One of the primary reasons IFJA was formed was to use our collective influence to combat the dwindling number of screenings provided in the Indianapolis market. As such, we want to discourage studios from scheduling screenings for a single critic. Any IFJA member offered a restricted screening must request that it be opened to all members: "Invite one, invite all" is our motto. If the request is denied, the member is free to attend the screening, but only after a good-faith effort to include everyone.


Production: Prospective and existing members are expected to produce consistent, professional film reviews or commentary in any medium. This shall consist of no less than 24 substantial published pieces per year, which can include articles in print or online, speaking appearances at film-related events, broadcasts or podcasts. Mini reviews (e.g., printed/online reviews of 200 words or less) will be considered at a 25% equivalent to a full review/podcast/broadcast. That is to say four such mini-reviews would constitute one full entry toward the minimum production goal of 24. Broadcast/podcast cameos (e.g., appearances that take up insubstantial or negligible portions of a broadcast/podcast) will not count toward a production goal. Content that appears only in status updates on social media sites or Letterboxd also will not count toward a production goal.


Members are encouraged to produce work for more than a single outlet if possible so as to avoid a large concentration of voting membership from a small number of outlets. If requested, a member shall produce evidence of production (e.g., links/clips).


Junkets/Gifts: The IFJA has no specific policy prohibiting members from accepting junket trips from studios. However, our critics are expected at all times to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with professional journalistic standards: There will be no agreement, implied or otherwise, for a positive review/coverage in exchange for access or payment. There will be no acceptance of lavish gifts. There should be no boasting about screeners or promotional materials received — up to and including posting pictures of screeners or promotional materials on social media. You also must not agree to have prewritten quotes attributed to your name. Any additional behavior that could be considered inconsistent with professional journalistic standards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


Awards: The IFJA gives out annual awards to recognize the best and brightest of each movie year. Members must endeavor to watch as much of the field of potential nominees as possible. Participation is required in the balloting process in early- to mid-December. If a member is unable to attend the yearly meeting at least in part, they must submit an absentee ballot and be readily available on the day of our vote for tie-breaking votes.


Behavior: Members will engage with each other in a manner that is respectful and collegial, especially in forums where their interactions are public and in their published/recorded/broadcast reviews. They will also show appropriate behavior when attending any public events as part of or on behalf of the IFJA. Members must also display professionalism when attending public film-related events or functions they are not attending as part of or on behalf of the IFJA — as their comments and/or behavior could still be considered representative of the group.  


Exemptions, Hiatuses, Probationary or Emeritus status: The IFJA understands that life events can intrude on our ability to produce consistently, including such issues as health, employment and personal/family developments. Members may be granted an exemption to the production rule or request a hiatus from voting membership — contingent on sufficient, specific and timely communication of any such requests ahead of each year’s voting deadline. New or non-compliant members may also be assigned non-voting probationary status until such time as the issue is resolved. Veteran members (no less than five years served) who wish to step away from day-to-day duties for the long term may request emeritus status with awards voting privileges. All of these actions require a majority vote of the entire membership.


Dues: All IFJA members are required to support the organization with nominal contributions in support of the agency's annual expenses including website, domain, and the Edward Johnson Ott Hoosier Award. The current annual contribution amount is approximately $15 annually. This is subject to change according to variations in expenses and membership. IFJA members will be informed of this amount annually during the organization's annual membership and awards meeting.


For media or general IFJA inquiries, please contact Christopher Lloyd. 

For information on IFJA's annual awards, please contact Evan Dossey.

For information on membership, please contact Brent Leuthold.

For website inquiries, please contact Richard Propes