Please read each section of information below carefully before you submit your program.


Entries must come from non-commercial programming from access center professionals, independent producers and students.

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 and December 31, 2023.

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.


Payments must be made in full when submitting your entries. Payment submissions can only be in US Dollars. No refunds will be issued once an entry is submitted. 

See Payments & Fees page for full details on payment information.


Online submissions closes on Monday, March 4, 2024.
An extension will not be applied to this deadline date.
*IMPORTANT: Please do not wait until the last minute! Make your submission early to ensure all information can be collected, and questions can be addressed prior to the deadline.

Must include any information judges will need to access your video (passwords or other instructions).


Overall Excellence – 20 minute total running time (TRT).

All other entries – Eight minute total running time (TRT).
The judges will view the first eight minutes of your entry, keep this in mind when editing so your first eight minutes is your best work and ultimately what you want the judges to see.
*Some standard categories may have additional time restrictions so please read descriptions carefully.* If following the required restrictions, all other edits and rules are open for interpretation from the submitter. 
*We strongly recommend that you edit your entry to the eight minute length of time so that judges will view what you consider to be your best eight minutes. If you do not edit your entry down, judges will view the first eight minutes. 


Link to your entry via Youtube, Vimeo or other permalinked video hosting web service.
If judges are unable to view your entry, you may be disqualified.
Make sure your link is set to a public or include any information judges will need to access your video (passwords or other instructions).

Self-Service File Upload (300MB Size Limit)
Formats accepted: .wmv, .mpg, .mpeg, .avi, .mov, .mp4, .wma, .wav, .mp3
*The Community Impact category will also accept PDF and Word documents up to 25 MB.*
If you have other supporting documentation to provide that is not an accepted file type, please contact  Megan at


Entries that feature programming in languages other than English OR Spanish do need to submit an English or Spanish language transcript alongside their entry or use subtitles so that we can ensure entries are fairly and equally judged.


Please read each category descriptions carefully. Some categories have special requirements. If a category receives less than three submissions, the judges must rate the submission with a 7 or higher rating to be qualified to win.


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 with a separate entry form. You must pay an entry fee for each entry submitted. A new feature has been added to allow you to copy entries saving you time if you wish to enter the same video into more than one category. Please be sure to view the instructions on the online entry site.

For Standard Categories, submit a single program. Compilations of multiple programs are not allowed for standard category entries (unless entering into the “series” sub-categories).

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. A compilation of your best work which may include both edited and non-edited projects.  The overall excellence entry can be no longer than 20 minutes in  length.  When creating compilation videos for Overall Excellence or any category that requires compilation, please ensure that you are following industry standards for copyright and licensing procedures for music or other creative assets included in your final product. 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 to $1,000,000;
(4) More than $1,000,000

Overall Excellence entries should include excerpts from programming representing Public, Education and Government that first aired between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023.


Entries will be disqualified if:

  1. Judges are unable to access private link, 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, 2023.
  4. First cablecast of the entry was after December 31, 2023.

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. 

Decisions and Judging

All decisions made by the judging panels and the Alliance Hometown Coordinator are final. Judging Panels are comprised of volunteer judges and ACM members from across the country that work with and are employed by community media centers. Judges receive detailed instructions and guidelines and are encouraged to leave comments for participants.

Return of Judging Forms
The Alliance and Hometown management will provide feedback upon request. If you would like to receive your feedback, please email Megan at

Awards Ceremony

Details are still being finalized on this event.

Winners Receive National Recognition

Each award winner receives a 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 and honorable mentions will be listed on the Foundation of the Alliance  for Community Media website and selected entries may be included in materials used by F/ACM to promote community media. If you provide a link to your full winning entry, F/ACM will post it on the winning entries page for the public to view. 

F/ACM retains the right to use all or part of the entries for promotional purposes on a non-exclusive basis. The producer is responsible for obtaining all approvals, clearances, licenses, etc., for materials contained in the entry and must provide such clearance upon request.


If you have questions, contact the Hometown Media Awards Coordinator, Megan Dobberstein at or by phone at (952) - 928 - 4671.  Please note that the ACM staff cannot advise participants which categories they should enter.