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Forty-nine years ago, when the original Star Trek television series ended its primetime run 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 fifteen years, these films have increased in both quality and quantity, and we believe the time has come 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.  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 we established for these awards.  Ballots included nine categories, including Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form; Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form; Best Director; Best Actor/Actress; Best Supporting Actor/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.  The winners of these awards were presented at Treklanta in April 2015 and are listed here.

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/Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor/Actress; Best Supporting Actor/Actress; Best Guest Actor/Actress; Best Production Design; Best Costuming; Best Hairstyling & Makeup; 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 presented at Treklanta in April 2016 and are listed here.

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/Screenplay; Best Director; Best Lead Actor/Actress; Best Supporting Actor/Actress; Best Guest Actor/Actress; Best Costuming; Best Hairstyling & Makeup; Best Original Music; Best Sound Design, Editing & Mixing; and Best Special & Visual Effects.  Judges for the 2017 Independent Star Trek Fan Film 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 presented at Treklanta in April 2017 and are listed here.

At the third annual Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards Ceremony held in April 2017, Treklanta Founder & Chairman Eric L. Watts announced that, with her permission, gratitude and blessings, these awards were being officially named "The Bjo Awards" in recognition of Bjo Trimble's legendary contributions to Star Trek fandom over the last fifty years.
 
Eligibility Requirements for the 2018 Bjo Awards
To be eligible for consideration in this year's 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 or opening credits*
3) Have been released to the Internet (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) during calendar year 2017, 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

Films will be considered for only those categories for which they qualify; for example, only those films which name makeup artists or hairstylists in their credits and/or on their IMDb pages will be considered in the Best Makeup & Hairstyling category.  Each film's onscreen and IMDb credits will be carefully reviewed to ensure that only those films with published credits in each category are considered for those categories.  Those films which meet the eligibility requirements listed above will be reviewed by our panel of judges in February 2018; balloting and tabulation of ballots will be held in March 2018; and the fourth annual Bjo Awards Ceremony will be held on May 27, 2018, at Treklanta.

Judges for the 2018 Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards will be announced here when balloting is completed.
     
Left to right: Orion Stage Girl Jillanna Babb, Guest of Honor and awards presenter Anne Lockhart, Treklanta Chairman and awards co-host Eric L. Watts, Treklanta Star Trek Programming Director and awards co-host Brian Holloway, Guest of Honor and awards judge Keith R. A. DeCandido, Guest of Honor and awards presenter Sean Kenney, Guest of Honor and multiple award winner Alec Peters of Star Trek: Axanar, Axanar's Fulfillment Director Diana Kingsbury, Guest of Honor and awards presenter Jason Carter, Featured Guest and award winner Clay Sayre of Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II, and Orion Stage Girl Ashley White.
Left to right: Treklanta Chairman 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 and Treklanta Star Trek Programming Director and Master of Ceremonies Brian Holloway.
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 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.