Alliance for Community Media

2013 Hometown Video Awards

Entry Rules and Information


Please read this information carefully before you submit your program.  If you have questions, contact the Hometown Coordinator, Gregory Morrison at (703) 506-2889 or at

The Hometown Video Awards honors and promotes community media and local cable programs that are distributed on Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) access cable television channels.   Awards are presented to creative programs that address community needs, develop diverse community involvement, challenge conventional commercial television formats, and move viewers to experience television in a different way.  Hometown is local cable’s largest video awards competition.


Winners Receive National Recognition

Each award winner receives a beautiful plaque personalized with the name of the producer, title of the program, and the category for which it won.  Duplicate plaques may be purchased for a fee.

All winning entries will be listed on the Alliance web site.  Selected entries may be included in sampler tapes and other materials used by the Alliance to promote community media.



The Hometown Video Awards welcome non-commercial programming from access center professionals, independent producers and students.  With the exception of the Website categories, programs entered must have had their first telecast on a local cable access channel or their initial stream/web distribution on or between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.  Some categories require specific criteria to be met in order for an entry to be eligible. Be sure to read the category descriptions carefully so that your entry will not be disqualified.


Entry Fees

Alliance member = $75 per entry     Non-member = $100 per entry 

*A $20 reformatting fee will be levied for DVD submissions.



Pay by check, money order, purchase order or charge to Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.   All payments must be in U.S. dollars.    Please enclose your payment or copy of your credit card receipt with your entries.  Make your check/money order/purchase order payable in U.S. funds to:




Entry Deadline

Entries must be postmarked by March 11, 2013. Online submissions will close at 7:00PM Pacific on March 11, 2013.


Entry Formats

Self-Service Upload (300MB Size Limit) .wmv, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .wma, .wav, .mp3 file formats accepted.

Youtube/Vimeo or other permalinked video hosting web service.

DVD (incurs a $20 reformatting fee)

Entries must be submitted on a single DVD. We recommend DVD-R format.  Make sure your DVD is properly finalized! Chapters and program menus are NOT permitted. Please send your DVD in a plastic jewel case.  Discs can be damaged when shipped in a paper sleeve. No videotape of any kind will be accepted.

The DVD disc and case must be labeled as follows:

  1. Entry Number - this is generated when you complete the on-line entry process.  If you submit a paper entry form the Hometown management will assign an entry number.     
  2. Program title
  3. Category number & name
  4. Division

Send DVD Entries To:

Alliance for Community Media


1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500

McLean, VA 22102


The Alliance is not responsible for lost or damaged DVDs.  Please do not send the master copy.  ENTRIES WILL NOT BE RETURNED.



Entry Length

Overall Excellence – 20 minute TRT

All other entries – 8 minute TRT (LIVE FORMAT CATEGORY MUST BE 8 minute TRT CONTIGUOUS)


Standard Category Entries

You may enter your program in as many categories as you wish.  You may NOT enter a program in more than one producer division. For example: you may enter a program as an independent producer in two different categories, but you may NOT enter the same program as a student entry in one category and as an independent producer in another. Select the appropriate producer division on the entry form. 

Each entry must be submitted on a separate DVD and with a separate entry form.  You must pay an entry fee for each entry submitted.  One check may be sent for the total amount of all required fees

For Standard Categories, submit a single program.  If you produce a series, submit a single episode.  Compilations of multiple programs are not allowed for standard category entries.

Complete the on-line entry form at


Overall Excellence Entries

Overall Excellence in Community Media entries must be submitted by an access organization, cable company, educational institution, local government, or other institution that provides public, educational, or governmental access services. The Overall Excellence divisions are based on the access organization’s annual operating budget: 

(1) Less than $300,000;

(2) $300,001 to $650,000;

(3) $650,001 or more.

At a minimum, Overall Excellence entries must include one unedited excerpt from each of at least six different programs that first aired between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.  The excerpts should be separated by black, a character-generated slate or a video bridge.  The total running time must not exceed 20 minutes.

Complete the on-line entry form and support information questions at  Do not send any information or materials other than those required on the entry form.


Producer Division

Entries may be submitted as Access Center Professional, Independent Producer, or Student. 

Access Center Professional: Programs created by employs of community media or access centers.

Independent Producer: Programs created by producers independent (no compensation) of community media or access centers.

Student Division:  Programs created by current students enrolled in primary, secondary or undergraduate schools. Non-students may supervise the production, but the overall direction, control of the production and all technical tasks (camera, directing, editing, sound, etc.) must be performed by the youth involved. 



Entries will be disqualified if:

1.   The DVD or submitted video is not viewable: audio is inaudible, video is unstable, DVD not finalized or for any other technical reason.

Judging sites will attempt to view on at least 2 machines before disqualifying. Please double check your entries!

2.   An entry clearly violates a specific requirement of the category in which it is entered.

3.   Any portion of the program was taped after December 31, 2012.

4.   First cablecast of the entry was after December 31, 2012.

No refunds will be made for any entry that is disqualified or if any other error is made by the producers or submitters of any entries.  A decision by the judging panel to disqualify an entry is final. 



All decisions made by the judging panels and the Alliance Hometown Coordinator are final.

Return of Judging Forms

The Alliance and Hometown management offer the return of judging forms as a courtesy to entrants.  However, we cannot guarantee the return of all judging forms.  We will make every effort to return judging scores and comments to those who specifically request them but due to a variety of circumstances beyond our control, we may not be able to fulfill all requests. 

Entry Deadline

Entries must be postmarked by

March 8, 2013


Send DVDs, forms & payment to:

Hometown Video Awards

1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 100

McLean, VA 22102



The Alliance is not responsible for lost or damaged DVDs.  Please do not send the master copy.  ENTRIES WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

Non-exclusive rights to entries

The Alliance retains the right to use all or part of the entries for promotional purposes on a non-exclusive basis for ONE year from the Hometown Video Awards deadline. The producer is responsible for obtaining all approvals, clearances, licenses, etc., for materials contained in the entry and must provide such clearance upon request.

Awards Ceremony

The 2013 Hometown Video Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 30, 2013 during the Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA.  Information about the conference is available at

Winners are responsible for their own travel plans and expenses.



Questions should be directed to:

Gregory Morrison




Please read each category descriptions carefully. Some categories have special requirements.  


1.   About Access & Empowerment:  created to inform the viewer about an access center, access channel, or the concept of public, educational, or government access; programs that exemplify how community access television empowers people to speak about issues that affect them.


2.   Access-Able: produced by individuals with developmental or physical challenges about disability issues and concerns.


3.   Access Program Promo: short promotional video, less than 5 minutes, about an access program or channel. 


4.  Animation: complete programs created using 2D or 3D animation techniques like stop action, clay-mation, wireframe, etc. Opening and closing title sequences from other types of programs are not eligible for this category.


5.   Children’s Programs: informational or entertainment programs targeted for audiences of children 12 years old and younger.


6.   Community Events:  coverage of parades, festivals, awards ceremonies and special community events.


7.   Cultural Perspectives: programs that celebrate our differences and enhance our appreciation of diverse ethnic and cultural groups or lead to greater understanding of foreign countries their people and customs.  Transcripts or subtitles are required for programs in a language other than English.


8.   Democracy in Action:  programs that cover national, state, or local elections including interviews, commentary, debates, and candidate forums.


9.   Documentary:  documentary format programs about an event, occurrence or issue of social importance.


10.  Documentary Biography: documentary format programs that examine a person or organization.


11.  Educational Activities:  videos that describe school sponsored programs or feature events, other than sports or performing arts, which are sponsored by educational institutions or school districts.


12.  Educational Profile:  programs that promote educational institutions or showcase the school or district students or employees at work.


13.  Entertainment & Arts: programs designed to entertain and amuse including visual, media or performance arts, sports commentary and entertainment talk shows.


14.  GLBT Programming: programs created about subjects of interest or concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people.


15.  Government Activities:  videos that describe government programs and services or feature events sponsored by government agencies.


16.  Government Profile: programs that feature government departments or showcase government employees at work.


17.  Informational Talk Show: discussion programs or interviews designed to inform the viewers about a specific topic.  Program is shot in studio or on location with limited roll-in footage.


18. Instructional/Training: provides “how to” advice or teaches a subject or skill.


19.  Live Format: programming, other than local news, that originally aired “live” and is submitted with no post-production editing.


20.  Local Performances: music concerts, plays, or dance performances videotaped at a local performance venue or in a television studio.


21.  Magazine Shows: programs comprised of several pre-produced segments or stories on a different topics that are introduced by a host or narrative.


22.  Music Video: features the creative fusion of original music and video images.


23.  News: regularly scheduled programs providing coverage of local issues, people, places and events through reports, interviews, and video clips.


24.  Original Teleplay: presentation of an original comedy or dramatic script written for television.


25.  Public Service Announcements:  short videos, less than 1 minute in length, promoting a community event or organization or presenting a particular social message. 


26.  Seniors: programs about topics of interest or concern to senior audiences.


27.  Web Based Program:  informational or entertaining programs designed and intended for internet streaming rather than cablecast.


28.  Spiritual / Inspirational:  deals with religion, or spirituality, or acknowledges a connection with a higher power.


29.  Sports Coverage: “game of the week” or coverage of a sports activity or sports competition.


30.  Website for Producers: Website developed to promote a producer’s program.  Website must be a stand-alone site that is NOT affiliated with a social network like Facebook or MySpace.  Enter the URL of your site as the Program Title on the entry form and provide a print of the home page. 


31.  Website for Access Centers:  Web sites developed for access centers.  Website must be a stand-alone site that is NOT affiliated with a social network like Facebook or MySpace. Enter the URL of your site as the Program Title on the entry form and provide a print of the home page with your supporting documentation.


32. Radio Programming: News, talk, music or entertainment radio programming broadcast from an access center. 



Overall Excellence entries must be submitted by an access organization.  The Overall Excellence award recognizes access organizations for their overall operational activities and programming efforts for the year 2012.  There are three budget divisions in each category.  Access centers may enter ONLY ONE (1) of the Overall Excellence Categories.

Read the category descriptions to determine which one is most appropriate for your organization. 


33.  Overall Excellence in Public Access:  Awarded to an organization that operates only the Public Access channel(s) and resources.  Programming examples might include shows created by access staff, community producers, organizations, and individuals who have editorial control over the content of their programs.  Centers who also manage educational or governmental access channels and facilities must enter the P.E.G. category.


34.  Overall Excellence in Educational Access:  Awarded to an organization that operates only the Educational Access channel(s) and resources.  Programming examples might include shows created by the staff, faculty, and students of an educational institution or educational access center.  Centers who also manage public or governmental access channels and facilities must enter the P.E.G. category.


35.  Overall Excellence in Governmental Access:  Awarded to an organization that operates only the Governmental Access channel(s) and resources.  Programming examples might include shows created by government employs or staff of the government access organization.  Centers who also manage public or educational access channels and facilities must enter the P.E.G. category.


36.  Overall Excellence in Combined P. E. or G. Access: Awarded to an organization that is responsible for any combination of Public, Educational, and Governmental access channels and resources (PE/PG/EG/PEG).  The entry should include programming examples from all the channel types managed by this organization.



Alliance For Community Media Annual Conference

The Hometown Video Awards will be presented at a dinner celebration on Wednesday May 30, 2013 in San Francisco, CA.  The Hometown Celebration is held during the Alliance’s annual conference which is attended by community media professionals, producers and advocates.  There will be more than 35 educational workshops, a trade show, and the opportunity to network with hundreds of other people who support community media.  Join us!


Conference information can be found at








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