History of the Bjo Awards

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When the original Star Trek television series ended its primetime run in 1969 and went into syndication around the world, it found a new audience numbering in the millions.  Many of those fans eagerly wrote stories, painted artwork, created costumes and played "make-believe" with their friends as a way of celebrating—and claiming a small piece for themselves—the extraordinary universe created by Gene Roddenberry.

Thirty years later, the next generation of fans had the drive, ambition, skills and tools they needed to take their make-believe adventures off the printed page and out of the back yard and create their own live-action videos that they could share with other like-minded fans around the world on the Internet.  These independent Star Trek fan films have grown from low-budget, low-tech videos to spectacular productions on par with Hollywood's best.  They have emerged as an industry unto itself... an industry that is allowed to exist and thrive solely at the pleasure of the intellectual property owners, but prohibited from earning one red cent from its efforts.  Independent Star Trek fan film productions are the very epitome of a labor of love.

Over the last 20 years, these films have increased in both quality and quantity, and we believe it is appropriate to recognize their achievements in excellence by presenting an award devoted exclusively to them.  Treklanta introduced the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards in 2015.  Ballots included nine categories, including Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form; Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form; Best Director; Best Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Original Screenplay; Best Soundtrack; Best Visual Effects; and Best Production Design.  Long Form included fan films with a running time of 31 minutes or longer; Short Form fan films ran 30 minutes or less.  A distinguished panel of judges including Diana Dru Botsford, Peter David, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Michael DeMeritt and Susan Sackett reviewed the sixteen fan films released in calendar year 2014 that met the eligibility requirements established for these awards and the winners of these awards were announced at Treklanta in April 2015.  For detailed information about the 2015 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and winners and the panel of judges, please click here.
The 2015 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards Ceremony & Official Video
Left to right: Orion Stage Girl Jillanna Babb; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Anne Lockhart; Treklanta Chairman, fan film awards producer and Master of Ceremonies Eric L. Watts; Treklanta Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Brian Holloway; Guest of Honor, awards judge and awards presenter Keith R. A. DeCandido, Guest of Honor and awards presenter Sean Kenney, Guest of Honor and award winner Alec Peters: Star Trek: Axanar's Fulfillment Director Diana Kingsbury; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Jason Carter; Featured Guest and award winner Clay Sayre; and Orion Stage Girl Ashley White

2016
The nine original categories were reevaluated following the 2015 awards ceremony and some important changes were made.  For 2016, a total of thirteen categories were established, including Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (>30 min.); Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (<30 min.); Best Original Story or Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Guest Actor or Actress; Best Production Design; Best Costuming; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the 2016 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards included Diana Dru Botsford, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Ken Feinberg, Matthew M. Foster, Andrew Greenberg, David Orange, Emmett Plant and Rick Sternbach.  Seventeen independent Star Trek fan films released during calendar year 2015 were reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners of these awards were announced at Treklanta in April 2016.  For detailed information about the 2016 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and winners and the panel of judges, please click here.

In 2016, Treklanta was privileged to have the iconic Bjo Trimble—champion of the letter-writing campaign that saved the original Star Trek series, author of The Star Trek Concordance and On the Good Ship Enterprise, and she who led the campaign to have NASA's first space orbiter renamed 'USS Enterprise'—and her husband John as Guests of Honor and presenters at the second annual Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards Ceremony.  At the end of the ceremony, Mrs. Trimble told Treklanta chairman Eric L. Watts how impressed she was with the awards program and its mission to recognize outstanding achievement in excellence among independent Star Trek fan films, and thanked all those who were involved in their creation, production and presentation.  Mr. Watts, in return, asked Mrs. Trimble if she would consider personally endorsing these awards and allowing us to name them after her, in her honor.  After a moment of humble modesty, she graciously agreed to lend her name to these awards.  We are delighted to have her support and endorsement of these awards and are pleased to be able to add them to her legacy as "The Godmother of Star Trek Fandom."
The 2016 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards Ceremony & Official Video
Left to right: Treklanta Chairman, fan film awards producer and Master of Ceremonies Eric L. Watts; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Jack Stauffer; award winner William C. Searcy; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Tracee Lee Cocco; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Bjo Trimble; Guest of Honor and awards presenter John G. Trimble; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Carel Struycken; special guest star Captain Jean-Luc Picard; and Treklanta Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Brian Holloway

2017
For 2017, the category of Best Production Design was eliminated for two reasons.  First, our panel of judges for the 2016 awards expressed their belief that comparing the production design of some series which were nearly exact reproductions of the original Star Trek series with other series who created new, if not derivative, sets and costumes was somewhat unfair; and second, only a handful of the fan films released during 2016 listed one or more production designers in their onscreen and/or IMDb credits, making it difficult, if not impossible, to identify the person(s) responsible for their production design.  Accordingly, that category was removed from the awards ballot.  The twelve award categories for 2017 were Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (>30 min.); Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (<30 min.); Best Original Story or Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Guest Actor or Actress; Best Costuming; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the newly renamed 2017 Bjo Awards included Diana Dru Botsford, Keith R. A. DeCandido, John DeSentis, Matthew M. Foster, Andrew Greenberg, Robert Greenberger, Cheralyn Lambeth and Archie H. Waugh.  Thirty-three independent Star Trek fan films released during calendar year 2016 were reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners of these awards were announced at Treklanta in April 2017.  For detailed information about the 2017 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and winners and the panel of judges, please click here.
The 2017 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards Ceremony & Official Video
Left to right: Guest of Honor and awards presenter David Gerrold; Featured Guest and award winner Glen L. Wolfe; Featured Guest and award winner John Caballero; Treklanta Chairman, fan film awards producer and Master of Ceremonies Eric L. Watts; Guest of Honor and awards presenter James Horan; Treklanta Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Brian Holloway; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Gary Graham; special guest star Captain Jean-Luc Picard; and Guest of Honor and awards presenter John G. Hertzler

2018
For 2018, all twelve categories were carried over from 2017 with no changes.  The twelve award categories for 2018 were Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (>30 min.); Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (<30 min.); Best Original Story or Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Guest Actor or Actress; Best Costuming; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the 2018 Bjo Awards included Rigel Ailur, Diana Dru Botsford, Dr. Meldrena Chapin, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Andrew Greenberg and Geoffrey Thorne.  Twenty-one independent Star Trek fan films released during calendar year 2017 were reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners of these awards were announced at Treklanta in May 2018.  For detailed information about the 2018 Bjo Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and winners and the panel of judges, please click here.
The 2018 Bjo Awards Ceremony & Official Video
Left to right: Treklanta Chairman, Bjo Awards producer and Master of Ceremonies Eric L. Watts; Star Trek Continues costume designer Ginger Holley; Star Trek Continues cast member Donald Hustón; Star Trek Continues script supervisor Kade Wilson; Treklanta Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Brian Holloway; award winner Dan R. Reynolds; and Guest of Honor and awards presenter Robert O'Reilly

2019
For 2019, because only two of the twenty-six eligible films had running times longer than thirty minutes, the categories of Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (30 minutes or less) and Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (31 minutes or longer) were combined into a single category, Best Dramatic Presentation, decreasing the total number of categories from twelve to eleven.  The eleven award categories for 2019 were Best Dramatic Presentation; Best Original Story or Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Guest Actor or Actress; Best Costuming; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the 2019 awards included Rigel Ailur, Diana Dru Botsford, Andrew Greenberg, Jason P. Hunt, William Schlichter and Andrew Wallace.  Twenty-six independent Star Trek fan films released during calendar year 2018 were reviewed by our panel of judges and the winners of these awards were announced at Treklanta in May 2019.  For detailed information about the 2019 Bjo Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and winners and the panel of judges, please click here.
The 2019 Bjo Awards Ceremony & Official Video
Left to right: Award winner Shelton E. Walker; award winner Joshua Michael Irwin; Treklanta Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Marc B. Lee; award winner Victoria Fox; Aaron Croxton; award winner Kevin Croxton; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Nichole McAuley; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Bill Blair; Guest of Honor and awards presenter Aron Eisenberg; and Treklanta Chairman, Bjo Awards producer and Master of Ceremonies Eric L. Watts

2020
For 2020, eleven of the thirty-three eligible films released in 2019 were one-half of a two-part film.  Because the casts and crews of these eleven individual films are identical in both parts, the ballot listed them as single two-part films in order to not pad the ballot with double entries for essentially the same film.  (One film, the first half of a two-parter, was withdrawn from the ballot because the second part was not released until 2020, and will be included on the 2021 ballot.)  As a result, ten films became five two-parters, with two of them exceeding 30 minutes in running time.  There were also five single-part films that exceeded 30 minutes, bringing the total number of films, as listed on the ballot, that exceeded 30 minutes to seven.  As a result, the category of Best Dramatic Presentation was once again divided into two categories, Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (30 minutes or less) and Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (31 minutes or longer), bringing the total number of award categories back up to twelve.  The remaining ten unchanged categories were Best Original Story or Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor or Actress; Best Supporting Actor or Actress; Best Guest Actor or Actress; Best Costuming; Best Makeup & Hairstyling; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the 2020 awards included Rigel Ailur, Troy Bernier, Diana Dru Botsford, Michael A. Burstein, Melissa Carter, Matthew M. Foster, Andrew Greenberg, Robert Greenberger, Mark McCray, Leslie E. Owen, Jeremy Roberts, William Schlichter and Andrew Wallace.  Twenty-seven independent Star Trek fan films released during calendar year 2019, including twenty single-part films and seven two-part films, were reviewed by our panel of judges.  The winners of these awards will be announced in late 2021.  For detailed information about the 2020 Bjo Awards, including the films selected for review, hyperlinks to them on YouTube, their IMDb pages and their series or film creators' web sites or other online presence, a list of finalists and the panel of judges, please click here.
 
Eligibility Requirements for the Bjo Awards
To be eligible for consideration for the Bjo Awards, an independent Star Trek fan film must:

1) Be a live-action dramatic presentation set in the Star Trek universe, not animated or CGI, or a satire or parody of Star Trek
2) Have "Based upon Star Trek, Created by Gene Roddenberry" (or similar) in the title sequence, opening credits or closing credits*
3) Have been released to the Internet (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) during the previous calendar year, and
4) Have an entry on IMDb.com with full cast and crew credits listed**

  * This requirement may be waived under certain circumstances and at the sole discretion of Treklanta
** For awards presented to individuals, nominees must be listed on those films' IMDb page

Only films in English or with English subtitles are selected for review for these awards due to the practical matter of judges not speaking the language of foreign-language films which otherwise meet all four eligibility requirements.
To Submit a Fan Film for Consideration, Click the Submit Button Below