The Darrell Awards has always had a rule that works are qualified by writer and/or story, not production elements. The story has to be science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror.
Stories about people who believe in fantastical things don’t count as fantasy stories unless those things make an appearance in the story.
Stories that don’t have content that the Jury considers to be science fiction, fantasy, or horror will be eliminated pretty early in our deliberations. A book about a group of SF fans going to a con and having adventures there would not be considered SF as it doesn’t matter what the characters believe — it matters what the story is about. So, a film about ghost hunters where no actual ghosts appear in the film, while it may be an entertaining spoof and enjoyable to watch, does not qualify as SF/F/H and won’t be considered for our Awards.
Filming locations are not story settings, except when the story makes them so.
Stories that don’t have at least one significant scene set within our area don’t qualify unless the author of the story lived in the area when it was published. For movies, this means the script writer has to live here when the film is first made available for the public to view it; or it must contain significant scenes set here. The filming locations, where the film is produced, where the actors live, where the directors live or work — none of that matters to us as those are neither author or story elements.
Actors or directors are not writers (except when they do both roles).
We have to stick to these limits for two reasons.
First, it would be unfair to give film more leeway than other works when it comes to what is considered. We set up the limits on the novels, novellas, short stories, and young adult works for good and sufficient cause. So, this is just clarifying that the same rules apply to film as to the other categories.
Second, the reason we set up those limits was to focus on the works that are most clearly “greater Memphis” by story or author. That focus still leaves us many works to consider every year. Removing that focus would overwhelm the volunteers who serve as the Jury.
If you have any questions about these matters, please feel free to contact us via email at memphissf at cs dot com.