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VICEROY’S HOUSE — Review by Susan Granger

Having entranced audiences with “Bend It Like Beckham, “British-raised filmmaker Gurinder Chadha goes back to her family’s roots with this splendid historical drama. Set in India during the chaotic weeks leading up to the 1947 Partition, it begins with the words: “History is written by the victors.” Continue reading…

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Meet Upcoming Indian Director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari — Interview by Mythily Ramachandran (Exclusive)

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (2)Indian director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s first film, Nil Battey Sannata,’ (Hindi for Zero divided by Zero), released last year, was so successful she had to do a second version in Tamil. She premiered her second film, a hilarious romcom titled ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ (Hindi for ‘Bareilly’s Candy’) last month. Both films are femme-centric and, as Indian critic Mythily Ramachandran reports, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is here to stay. Read Mythily Ramachandran’s interview with Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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LUCKY LOGAN — Review by Susan Granger

Let’s face it: crime capers are fun – and this slick heist may be Steven Soderbergh’s best. It’s a blast!
After a leg injury sidelined him from a football career, Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) traded his helmet for a hardhat. But now his limp means he can’t even hold a construction job. Commiserating with his bartender brother Clyde (Adam Driver), whose forearm was blown off in Iraq, Jimmy comes up with an idea. They’re gonna rob North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway – with a bit of help from their hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter). Continue reading…

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Meet Soundarya Rajnikanth, director of VELLAI ILLA PATTADHARI 2 — Interview by Mythily Ramachandran (Exclusive)

Soundarya Rajnikanth headshotA career in films was inevitable for Soundarya Rajnikanth, the youngest daughter of Tamil superstar Rajnijanth. Soundarya stepped out of her father’s shadow in 2014 to direct her first film, Kochadaiiyaan, an animated period film shot with motion-capture technology, a first in the history of Indian cinema. Director Soundarya returns with her second feature, the live action Vella Illa Pattadhari 2 (Unemployed Graduate, in Tamil), a sequel to the eponymous Tamil blockbuster released in 2015. Read Indian film journalist Mythily Ramachandran’s exclusive interview on The Female Gaze.

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AWFJ EDA Awards @DOXA 2017 Filmmaker Interview: Justine Harbonnier on ANDREW KEEGAN IS MOVING

JUSTINE HARBONNIERFilmmaker Justine Harbonnier takes us to Montreal, where the city’s oldest house is being moved to make way for posh modern condos. Her profound and poetic film reflects her questions about how such moves impact a neighborhood and its residents, and others who pass by without even noticing these changes that effect the future of their city. Read what she has to day about making the film and her future plans on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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PARIS CAN WAIT — Review by Jennifer Merin

paris can wait posterParis Can Wait is a rich repast for Francophiles and foodies, and women who are hungry for more romance in their marriages. Writer/director Eleanor Coppola serves up her first feature at age 81 — a remarkable and inspiring achievement, especially since she does it so deliciously. Replete with with elegant character development, a superb cast and stunning cinematography, Paris Can Wait is a delightfully satisfying escape into a lifestyle that is for most of the world’s women pure fantasy. Take time to savor it. Read the full review on CINEMA CITIZEN.

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THE BOSS BABY — Review by Susan Granger

Somewhere in the clouds above, Baby Corp. runs an adorable newborn assembly line, where babies are manufactured and families formed. That’s according to the overactive imagination of seven year-old Tim Templeton (voiced by Miles Christopher Bakshi), who is totally content as the only child of doting parents (voiced by Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow) who read him endless bedtime stories and sing the Beatles’ tune “Blackbird” as his lullaby. But then Tim’s perfect little world is disrupted by the arrival of a baby brother named Theodore. In Tim’s mind, the demanding infant is a tiny tyrant, dispatched by Management, arriving in a business suit, wearing a Rolex and carrying a briefcase. And he can talk. Continue reading…

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T2: TRAINSPOTTING — Review by Susan Granger

Back in 1996, Scottish filmmaker Danny Boyle celebrated sneering, rebellious, drug-drenched youth in “Trainspotting.” In this sequel, Ewan McGregor and the Leith lads trip into middle-age. Re-visiting the same characters 20 years later, it recalls how Mark Renton (McGregor) ripped off his friends in a lucrative drug deal. Apparently, he took the money and fled to Amsterdam, where he kicked his heroin habit and plunged into respectability, including a failed marriage. Continue reading…

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THREE TREMBLING CITIES – Review by Martha P. Nochimson

three-trembking-cities​Three Trembling Cities, written and directed by Arthur Vincie, is an innovative web series about immigrants in New York. Wait, don’t run for the exit. It’s not an earnest and/or sentimental diatribe about America as a country of immigrants; or a timely warning against the repulsive policies of Donald Trump, although this is a good time for America to consider its immigrant heritage. ​But the word “immigrant” has become heavy, fraught with anxiety, anger, and melancholy, and Three Trembling Cities is anything but that. Read the full review on EYE ON MEDIA.

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AWFJ Announces Nominees for 2,500 Euro Prize for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2016 – Jennifer Merin reports

idfa-2016The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is pleased to name three finalists in this year’s competition for the IDFA 2016 EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature Length Documentary. AWFJ is partnering with IDFA (International Dcoumentary Film Festival Amstersam) for the third consecutive year to honor female filmmakers whose documentaries are on the festival schedule. This is the first year the award includes the 2,500 Euro prize. The winner of the award will be announced at IDFA on November 22, and the award will be presented at that time. Read on…

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SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, THE INTERVENTION, WHITE GIRL and more… — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

southside with you posterSouthside with You, a definitive date movie, centers around the first wooing of two smart young lawyers who have big dreams for the future and big demands for their budding relationship. They are Barack Hussein Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle La Vaughn Robinson (Tika Sumpter), and we, of course, know how that turned out. Complete Unknown” plumbs the dark side of a relationship as a mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz) appears at a birthday party for an old,now married, flame (Michael Shannon). “The Intervention,” writer-director Clea DuVall’s first feature, is a look at the complex relationships between 30-something couples — best friends all — who go on vacation together, with the intent to advise one of the couples to divorce. “White Girl,” writer-director Elizabeth Wood’s first feature, gets tawdry with a privileged college sophomore’s summertime encounters with drugs, sex and a truly disreputable guy from her New York City neighborhood. Read the reviews…

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HANDS OF STONE – Review by Susan Granger

Evoking memories of “Raging Bull” (1980), Robert De Niro returns to the boxing ring again – this time as Ray Arcel, the legendary trainer who coached welterweight boxer Roberto Duran in the 1970s.As an impoverished 16 year-old from Panama, Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) made his professional debut in 1968 and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. But his story begins at Madison Square Garden in 1971, when Arcel first saw Duran fight. Read on…

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BLAIR WITCH Sequel — Preview by Liz Whittemore

blair witchThere was one movie responsible for starting the “found footage” phenomenon. Since then we’ve seen films like REC, Quarantine, V/H/S, and the Paranormal Activity franchise explode. Can anything live up the original? In high anticipation, we take a peek at a trailer that promises to be a sequel of scary. Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy a brief view of the new Blair Witch, due for release in September. Read more>>

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OUR LITTLE SISTER, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, OVATION, INDIAN POINT and other July 8 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

Our_Little_Sister_posterHirokazu Koreeda’s Our Little Sister is a soulful, magical journey into the wonderous mysteries of sisterhood, brought to live action from a popular Japanese manga. Captain Fantastic follows a story line that raises issues about child rearing in a society with polluted values. Henry Jaglom’s character-driven Ovation delves into the psyche of an actress who’s looking for balance between self esteem, integrity, ambition and lust. Indian Point is Ivy Meerpol’s compelling cautionary documentary risks of continuing operation of the titular 40 year old nuclear energy plant with its very outdated technology. Plus about the Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, Zero Days.Under the Sun, The Dog Lover, and Fathers and Daughters Read the reviews>>

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ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS — Review by Susan Granger

Bearing little resemblance to Lewis Carroll’s literary sequel, this live-action fantasy begins in 1874 with Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) as an intrepid sea captain, cleverly evading pirates en route back to London – as though she’d been taught by Capt. Jack Sparrow. Arriving home, Alice must choose between losing the Wonder, her late father’s merchant vessel, or leaving her widowed mother (Lindsay Duncan) homeless. Familial business dealings grow tedious until the familiar blue butterfly, Absolem (voiced by Alan Rickman), leads Alice through a large mirror…a.k.a. Looking Glass. Read on…

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Attention Black Filmmakers: The National Black Programming Consortium Fund Offers Support! – Candice Frederick reports

black filmmakers mentoringForget the Oscars. And forget trying to seek acceptance from a blissfully broken Hollywood system that continues to stereotype and belittle the talent of people of color. The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), based in Harlem, New York, wants to help bring black filmmakers’ projects to fruition with its second annual 360 Incubator and Fund. Read on…

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2015 EDA Awards Winners and Photo Gallery

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ 2015 EDA Awards winners were announced on January 12, 2016. Top honors went to Spotlight, which won four EDA Awards: best film, best director, best original screenplay and tied for best ensemble. We presented the award certificates to Sasha Pfeifer, the Boston Globe investigative journalist who is portrayed by Rachel McAdam in the film. See photos here.

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2015 AWFJ EDA Award: Lily Tomlin Defies Age and Ageism

AWFJ President Jennifer Merin presents Lily Tomlin with the AWFJ EDA Award for Actress Defying age and Ageism

AWFJ President Jennifer Merin presents Lily Tomlin with the AWFJ EDA Award for Actress Defying age and Ageism

To see the full list of 2015 AWFJ EDA Awards, click here. For more 2015 EDA Award photos, click here.

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SPOTLIGHT Tops Annual AWFJ EDA Awards Winners 2015

spotlightposterSPOTLIGHT, and more SPOTLIGHT. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ members honor the fine film that honors the fine profession of journalism with four EDA Awards. CAROL and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD get AwFJ voters’ love with two EDAs each. And the other 17 categories are claimed by a wide and surprising range of winners. See the full roster, including AWFJ’s critical choices for best nudity and actress most in need of a new agent.
2015 EDA Award nominees
About the EDA Awards
About AWFJ

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Demand Equal Representation for Women Documentarians, Too – Guest Post by Victoria Cook

Victoria-CookRegarding the Oscars, there is a pervasive misperception that the documentary category is more inclusive, less sexist and less racist than the other categories. Recent talk about the underrepresentation of women and people of color as directors in the entertainment industry as a whole (reference recent articles in the NYT Sunday Magazine, Forbes and Variety about the 7% statistic, and Jennifer Lawrence’s speaking out, etc) and specifically about underrepresentation of women in the major Oscars categories, but there is no public discourse about this also being a pervasive problem in the documentary category. It’s time to speak up! Read more on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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AWFJ Announces the Categories for the 2015 Year End EDA Awards

With sincerest appreciation of all the great work that’s been done in film this year, and with respectful acknowledgement of the attention that’s being given to forwarding the cause of gender parity in the film industry, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists is pleased to announce the awards categories for the 2015 year end EDA Awards. There are 21 categories, divided into three sections: Best of Awards, Female Focus Awards and Special Mention Awards. Read the entire list.

Nominees for all categories will be announced on December 28, 2015.
EDA Award winners will be announced on January 7, 2015.

We look forward to recognizing this year’s outstanding cinema achievements (best and worst!) by women (and men!) in front of and behind the cameras, and to making this an all around superb awards season. For further information about the AWFJ EDA Awards, click here.

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THE WITCH – Preview by Liz Whittemore

The  Raven posterSunday Bloody Sunday: Here’s an update on one of the most highly anticipated horror films coming to theaters early in 2016. It’s Roger Egger’s debut feature, The Witch.” The film, a Sundance Film Festival hit, takes place in Salem, Mass., several decades before the famous witch trials. Curious? Distributor A24 now has a new poster and website that will no doubt, with its images and trailer, unnerve you. Read more and get connected on I SCREAM YOU SCREAM.

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IDFA Selects Nominees for AWFJ EDA Award @ IDFA 2015

idfa2015logoFor the second consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists is partnering with IDFA to present the AWFJ EDA Award for the Best Female-Directed Film at IDFA 2015, taking place in Amsterdam from November 18-29. IDFA programmers select ten feature length documentaries to be viewed in advance of the festival by members of the AWFJ EDA Award jury panel. The nominated filmmakers have been notified that they are in the competition, and the jurors — all of whom are members of the Alliace of Women Film Journalists — have received screeners of the films. Curious to know which films have been nominated? Here’s the list (in alphabetical order):

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GRAVY – Review by Liz Whittemore

Gravy-poster-213x300It’s Halloween night. A trio of costumed misfits with very special dietary requirements seizes a Mexican cantina and forces the staff to engage in a late night of gluttony. The only caveat is what’s on the menu…and who will survive ‘til morning! This deliriously demented horror-comedy is a true feast for genre fans. Stuffed with an outstanding ensemble cast and perfectly seasoned with laughs and scares, you’ll be sure to ask for seconds on Gravy. Read more on the I SCREAM YOU SCREAM blog

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GRANDMA – Review by Susan Granger

Paul Weitz’s idiosyncratic road movie revolves around Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin), a pensive poet and semi-retired academic who is still grieving for Violet, her partner for 30 years. Elle’s day begins as she coldly dismisses much-younger Olivia (Judy Greer), with whom she’s had a four-month fling. Then Elle’s 18 year-old granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) appears on her doorstep, asking for $600 to pay for an abortion that’s already scheduled for later that afternoon. Read on…

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