Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is, according to their website, “an organization of film reviewers from New York-based publications that exists to honor excellence in U.S. and world cinema.” Members are critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and online general-interest publications (that meet certain qualifications). Every year in December, Circle members meet in New York to vote on awards for the year's films. The Circle also puts on an awards presentation, which will be held in January 2015 to honor 2014 winners.
The Circle was the first film critics organization that I encountered as a budding, young movie lover. The Circle's awards have been predictors of the Oscar nominations. However, The Circle sees it awards “as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures,” according to their website.
2014 NYFCC Awards:
Best Picture: Boyhood
Best Director: Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Best Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard - “The Immigrant,” and also “Two Days, One Night”
Best Actor: Timothy Spall - Mr. Turner
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Best Cinematographer: Darius Khondji - The Immigrant
Best Animated Film: The LEGO Movie
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary): Citizenfour
Best Foreign Film: Ida (Poland)
Best First Film: Jennifer Kent - The Babadook
Special Award: Adrienne Mancia