Prix CIRCOM FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Prix CIRCOM all about?
The Prix CIRCOM has been in existence for more than 25 years. It is the showcase for the best television programmes produced and broadcast by the public service regional stations in Europe. Winning an award does not just mean money and trophy – it means professional kudos for the winning station and a valuable line in a personal curriculum vitae. More about the Prix...
Who runs the Prix?
There is a President of the Prix who acts as chair of the specialist judges. This role has the duty to identify and agree sponsorship, define categories and criteria for those categories, select qualified judges, find a judging venue and judging host, organise the judging process, confirm the verdict of the judges, arrange the attendance of the winners and commended at the gala award presentation, organise and produce the awards ceremony (often as a live broadcast), create workshops for Meet The Winners at the conference and promote the Prix to the European television community and beyond. The President reports to CIRCOM’s Executive Committee and its European Board. Rule 24
Who sponsors the Prix?
The sponsors are mainly broadcast members of CIRCOM but also associations and organisations which regard regional television broadcasting and production as important. Organisations – including commercial companies – who might consider supporting the Prix should contact:
What are the rules of the Prix CIRCOM?
The rules are set out (in English ) on the CIRCOM web site. They change very little from year to year but you should always check you are reading the latest version. Your own broadcaster is free to make a local translation of the Rules – but the version in English is always the final and approved version. Rules of Entry
Who can enter?
Entries are only accepted from the member stations of CIRCOM . If your station has not paid its subscription fee, this will need to be done before an entry can be validated. If you are an independent producer, you will need to contact the station which commissioned your work: only they can enter your programme. See Rule 1
What if my entry is part of a co-production with other stations?
Entries from CIRCOM member stations who are creating co-productions are welcome. If you want to enter a co-production, you will need to check with the other stations that this is OK. If the co-production wins an award, the prize money is allocated to the entering station to distribute. See Rules 17 and 18
How many times can I enter?
You can enter once in any category. There are 10 categories, so any one station can make a total of 10 entries. Note that the rules for entering programmes made as part of co-productions allow different editions of the same series of co-produced programme to be entered by different partners in the co-production. See Rule 3 and Rule 19
Does my entry need to be approved?
Yes. Every entry needs to be approved by the representative to CIRCOM of the member broadcaster, normally known as the “national co-ordinator” . This is necessary to check that no region is entering twice in the same category and that the broadcaster is happy to approve an entry. See Rule 2
How is my entry approved?
When you fill in the online entry form, a version will be automatically sent to your national co-ordinator, who will complete the entry process with formal confirmation. If for any reason, there is no national co-ordinator, the President of the Prix will be asked to approve the entry.
What if I am not on the staff of a CIRCOM member station?
You can still enter your programme but only if approved by the commissioning station and entered under its name. See Rule 1
What categories can I enter?
In 2017, there are 10 categories: Documentary, Entertainment, Investigative Journalism, Most Original and Innovative, Minorities in Society, Music, News Programme and Viewer Involvement, News Report on a European Issue, Rising Star, Video Journalism. If you want to enter Rising Star, you need to be aged 30 or under. If you enter the category News Report on a European Issue, you agree that your report can be seen on the European Committee of the Regions’ web site and on its social media platforms. It is not possible to enter the Grand Prix: this is open only to category winners selected by the judges from among the category winners.
How much does it cost to enter?
It’s free. Most other competitions charge entry fees - but this competition is free to member stations. There will be costs to be borne in translation and providing a version with subtitles but this is regrettably unavoidable to make sure your entry can be properly judged.
Why must I add subtitles?
The subtitles are essential so the judges can understand what is being spoken in your programme. For practical reasons, English is the common language. We even ask the English-language programmes to add subtitling because regional accents can be confusing for non-English judges. See Rule 7
How good must the subtitles be?
The subtitles do not have to be broadcast accurate. Nor do they have to be language accurate. They are a guide for judges only to help them better understand what is happening. Google Translate and other conversion software can help immensely, although there does need to be final human intervention – especially with the lesser-used languages. See Rule 7 and paragraphs Subtitling and Translation
How do I enter?
You can enter only by using the official entry form on the CIRCOM web site. No other method of entry is acceptable. See Step-by-step manual on how to use the entry form
What information do you need to give?
You need to fill in all the spaces as requested on the entry form so we can properly identify your entry and so the judges can better understand why you think the entry is worthy of winning. Please pay special attention to the background of no more than 500 words. The judges find this really helpful when they discuss the merits of the programmes. Make sure you mention why you made the programme, why it is considered special and also any impact it has had. See Rule 6 ~ See List of information you need to provide ~ See Step-by-step manual on how to use the entry form
By what date must I complete my entry?
Entry forms have to be completed by Friday 10 March 2017 and videos uploaded by Tuesday 14 March 2017. See Rules 8 and 9
How do I deliver my entry to CIRCOM?
Video entries need to be uploaded by FTP in the codec H.264. No other way of delivering entries is acceptable. When you have filled in the entry form and told that the entry is accepted, you are instructed by e-mail how to upload. One tip – do not leave it to the last week to upload or you may find yourself in a very long queue as entries fight for bandwidth and capacity on the server. See Rule 9
Who will judge my programme or entry?
CIRCOM brings together about 14 qualified production and broadcast professionals with substantial experience of making or commissioning programmes. They view the programmes in small groups and discuss what they see. The programmes they think might include the winner or a commended they usually pass to another group to get a further opinion. If any of the judges has made one of the entered programmes or is from the same broadcaster, they are required to point this out to their colleague judges. If a vote is required for any reason, they will not take part.
What are the judges looking for?
First check the category criteria. This gives the best clue about what you should be offering the judges. After that, it becomes more difficult to be specific. Judges are individuals of great experience and each may have a different view on what makes “a winning programme”. Different categories require different winning qualities. Different judges place priorities on different qualities. Judging is more of an art than a science. Generally speaking, on programme entries, they look for a good story, clearly told, in a way which will entice and inspire viewers, with a supporting use of high quality production techniques. David Lowen, as Chairman of the Judges, has set out some personal views on “What Makes a Winner?” but, be warned, those views are just personal and cannot be a guarantee of success. Anyway, they are worth a read!
Must the programme be about my region?
Not necessarily. The awards are about the quality of television production in the regions, not just programmes about regions. However, there is no doubt that the judges often prefer regional relevance. The programme need not have been made for broadcast in a region because we want to show how regional productions add value to networks and have the quality to travel around the world also. A programme made by a central production team about a general subject and for broadcast primarily on the national network or internationally will generally be at a disadvantage in these awards. See Award Criteria: For all categories
How do I find out if I am a winner or commended?
The judges reach their verdict at the end of the judging week. You will then be contacted and told you are the winner or commended – subject to assurance that you have complied with all the Rules of Entry. You may be asked for some evidence. No public announcement will be made until such details have been checked. See Rules of Entry
If I am a winner or commended, when and where do I collect my award?
The winner and the commended in each category are invited to attend the CIRCOM conference, which usually takes place about 2-3 weeks after the conclusion of the judging. The trophy (winner only) and the certificates (winner and commended) are presented (usually in front of the television cameras) at a gala awards ceremony. You should also register for the conference on the official registration form but the CIRCOM Secretariat will be in touch to help make such arrangements as are necessary. About Annual Conference
Can I bring a friend or colleague to the award ceremony?
The conference is free to anyone from CIRCOM member stations – and to guests of the winners and commended or their work colleagues. However, CIRCOM’s prize money is passed across to the entering station. It is up to that station how the money is spent. CIRCOM only guarantees to pay the flight/travel costs and accommodation (for up to two nights) of the winner and commended. Others have to pay for themselves or be paid for by agreement with their employers, not CIRCOM . Also, everyone (including winner and commended) will have to register for the Conference on the official registration form. The CIRCOM Secretariat will be in touch to help make such arrangements as are necessary. About Annual Conference
If I am a winner or commended, what do I have to do at the CIRCOM Conference?
Most of the time you can enjoy and take part in the debates, watch the presentations, network with Europe’s top public service television executives and producers. However, we do want everyone who attends to have the chance to “meet the winner” and commended and hear something about the winning entry. The usual way is to have a short workshop at which you can show some excerpts and people can ask questions. You are granted two nights’ accommodation. Make sure you plan your flights in good time to attend the gala on Thursday and the workshop sessions, usually on Friday. See Meet the winners sessions from the past
If I am the Rising Star winner, how does my internship work?
In October 2015, Tom Brown from BBC East Midlands spent a week with John Inge Johansen, also a video journalist, in his far north region of NRK Nordland. Nick Sheridan, from RTÉ, winner in 2016, plans to visit SVT Lulea and work alongside the winner of the VJ category, Randi Gitz. We cannot be specific on how this will work each year. The winner will state a preferred region to visit and we will request the internship. Some broadcasters have legal or insurance issues about hosting “guests”. Nothing is ever simple! But, with your help and the help of our member stations, we will do our best to fulfil your dreams!
What rights are conceded by entering or winning or being commended?
If your entry is lucky enough to win, it can be shown by any CIRCOM regional station. Not all stations choose to do this but it does mean that you need to make sure that all rights can be cleared - and is the entering station’s responsibility to ensure this is done and paid for if necessary. No rights costs can fall on the transmitting station.
If your entry is commended, there is no such requirement. However, in 2017 for the first time, all entrants are being asked to offer, if they can, to make every entry available for use by member stations. The aim is to allow the widest possible circulation of programmes to the benefit of our regional citizens. However, this is purely voluntary and there is a new “tick box” on the online entry form.
In the category News Report on a European Issue, there is a requirement that all entries will be further distributed on the web site and social media platforms of the European Committee of the Regions from June after the award ceremony. It is unlikely there will be many, if any, rights issues with a news report and it will allow our stations to showcase their stories to a Europe-wide audience.
If there’s a dispute, how is it resolved?
Hopefully by discussion, explanation and mutual agreement. If not, the decision of David Lowen, as Chairman of the Judges and President of the Prix CIRCOM, is final. See Rule 24
Questions about or problems relating to the web-based entry form, video delivery, or other technical issues to: