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Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines - FOCAL Personnel Awards

Jane Mercer Researcher of the Year Award

The recipient is an individual Footage Researcher (or team), who has demonstrated outstanding achievement whilst being primarily responsible for the footage research undertaken for a production(s) or project(s) premiered or released during the qualifying year (2023).

Such production(s) or project(s) can include series that have been aired over many years, providing the cited episode was premiered in 2023.

Anyone can nominate a Researcher for this award which is not restricted to FOCAL International members. Nominations can be submitted online.

The Jury will be looking for an individual or team who displayed some or all of the following qualities:

• Depth of knowledge;
• Tenacity;
• Thoroughness;
• Imagination;
• An ability to enhance and protect the integrity of the footage.

The above is not an exhaustive list and the submitter may wish to highlight other areas of exception on the part of the researcher in their application.

One credit during the qualifying year (productions or projects premiered in 2023) can be cited. A short synopsis and reason for submission will be required. Furthermore, both the Researcher and a representative of the production team e.g. Producer/Director, Production Manager (or similar) is asked to include a supporting statement.

Researcher's statement may include the following (minimum 100 words)

Explain how:

  1. Indicate the level of Archive budget;
  2. Duration of project / number days worked on the project;
  3. How many third-party clearances were needed and the level of difficulty;
  4. Indicate the difficulty of sourcing footage and delivery issues of master material;
  5. Knowledge and skill employed to seek rarer or underused material;
  6. Level of involvement in the selection of archive used in the final edit;
  7. Follow-up administration - level of responsibility or involvement in reporting usage of archive material back to copyright holders.

Statement from the Production Manager / Director (or similar) may include (minimum 100 words)

Explain how:

  1. The Researcher(s) had a thorough understanding of the editorial content and aims of the project, plus the footage found played a vital role in the storylines and the shaping of the production;
  2. The footage researched addresses the needs of the narrative;
  3. The footage exceeds the expectation for the topic;
  4. Every effort has been made to discover original or underused material for the production;
  5. Material clearances were addressed respecting copyright laws and ownership rights and due diligence / best endeavours were followed if necessary;
  6. Footage and related information were delivered in a clear and efficient manner.

If the production is shortlisted the Production Manager / Director statement will be published in on the FOCAL Website and in the Awards Programme as Archival Highlights.

Supporting visual material of the cited credits will be required.

There is NO submission fee for this category.

For further information or enquires please contact: [email protected] and we will respond directly.