The well known UK amateur film enthusiasts' magazine "Amateur Cine World" (known by many as "The Moviemakers' Bible") launched a competition for amateur films, sometime after the second World War, around 1948 I think. Originally the prizes were silver plaques, later "Oscar" statuettes, by 1950 the cash prize was £100. In later years other prizes were often provided by cine manufacturers.
To encourage all the entrants, every film entered in any amateur film gauge - 8mm / 9.5mm and 16mm was actually screened to a panel of judges and some measure of grading was obtained by awarding a star rating - gold; four; three; two and down to just one star. (Yes in my youth I did enter a 9.5mm effort a couple of times and got that one star award - better luck next time as they say!)
The 1948 "Ten Best" annual amateur film competitiion was I think the first one
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