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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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THE FEMALE GAZE: Stina Werenfels Talks DORA, Sexual Neuroses and Women in Film – Dana Knight interviews (Exclusive)

Filmmaker Stina Werenfels

Filmmaker Stina Werenfels


Dora or the Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents is Swiss director Stina Werenfels’ second feature film. It is a provocative drama that focuses on the awakening sexuality of a young, mentally disabled woman and the intense repercussions this event has for her family, and it has strong feminist overtones. Interviewing Werenfels at Belinale 2015, THE FEMALE GAZE contributor Dana Knight questions the filmmaker about Doras strong feminist overtones, female sexuality in film and women working in film in Switzerland. Read on…

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THE FEMALE GAZE: Shira Geffen on BOREG, Filmmaking and Israeli Women – Dana Knight Interviews (Exclusive)

Film Title: Les Meduses.Shira Geffen is an Israeli actress, screenwriter and film director. Her first feature Jellyfish (or Medzudot), which she co-directed with her husband Etgar Keret, won the Camera d’Or in Cannes 2007. Self Made (or Boreg), her second feature film, is a dark but humorous drama that tells the story of two women – one Israeli, the other Palestinian- who are trapped within their respective worlds. After a mix-up at a checkpoint, they find themselves living the life of the other on the opposite side of the border and their all-too human characteristics are revealed against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. THE FEMALE GAZE contributor Dana Knight interviewed Geffen at the !F Istanbul Film Festival in March, 2015. Read more>>

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Nancy Buirski Talks SIDNEY LUMET, Doc Form and Women in Film — Dana Knight interviews (Exclusive)

nancy buirski 1Filmmaker Nancy Buirski’s engaging documentary about filmmaker Sidney Lumet premiered at Cannes 2015, where THE FEMALE GAZE frequent contributor Dana Knight caught up with her to chat about her esteemed subject, other directors who’ve influenced her work, taking a turn at a narrative feature and the business of women in film. Read on…

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Frances McDormand Talks Cinema and Women @ Cannes – Dana Knight reports (Exclusive)

mcdormand1 upheadAt the 68th Cannes International Film Festival, Kering and the Festival de Cannes launched the first edition of the Women in Motion program, spotlighting women’s contributions to cinema. Frances McDormand, a featured guest: “By saying we need “help” we keep the conversation back a little bit. We don’t need “help”, we need money, we need platforms, we need voices but we don’t need “help”. AWFJ’s THE FEMALE GAZE contributor Dana Knight reports. Read on…

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CHAGALL-MALEVICH’s Kristina Schneidermann on Being Bella, Alexander Mitta and Moviemaking Coincidences – Interview by Dana Knight (Exclusive)

chagall posterChagall-Malevich blends fact and folklore in tracing the return of the iconic Jewish artist (Leonid Bichevin) to his childhood home of Vitebsk. Ending his immensely successful stay in Paris, Chagall returns to Russia in 1917, hoping to marry the love of his life Bella Rosenfeld, played by Kristina Schneidermann. The Female Gaze contributor Dana Knight talks to Schneidermann about playing the famous artist’s wife, working with legendary Russian director Alexander Mitta and the striking coincidences that occurred during the making of the fictionalized biopic. Read the interview…

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IRRATIONAL MAN – Review by Susan Granger

Woody Allen has won four Academy Awards, along with the seven bestowed on actors in his films. His 46th film as a director is a comedy about a tormented, disillusioned philosophy professor who muses about “morality, choice and the aesthetics of life, randomness and murder.” When Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) arrives at Rhode Island’s (fictional) Braylin College, his charismatic reputation precedes him – at least rumors about his alcoholism and legendary penchant for young women. Which poses an enticing challenge for frustrated faculty colleague, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), and eager philosophy student, Jill Pollard (Emma Stone). Read on…

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Amy Kohn on A COURTSHIP, Faith and First Time Filmmaking – Dana Knight interviews for The Female Gaze (Exclusive)

Filmmaker Amy Kohn

Filmmaker Amy Kohn

Amy Kohn’s debut documentary offers a peek into the practice of Christian courtship, wherein a woman hands over the responsibility of finding a husband to her parents and the will of God. Such is the path for Kelly, who after growing up happily in a secular family is prompted by her parent’s divorce to adopt a Christian couple as her spiritual-family who will guide her through courtship. A Courtship premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, where The Female Gaze contributor Dana Knight interviewed the director about her discoveries while making the film, gaining the trust of vulnerable subjects, and the tribulations of first-time filmmaking. Read more>>

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Paz Fabrega and Kattia Gonzalez on VIAJE – Dana Knight interviews for The Female Gaze (exclusive)

viaje1Costa Rican filmmaker Paz Fabrega and actress/producer Kattia Gonzalez chat with film journalist Dana Knight for THE FEMALE GAZE, talking about the New Cinema of Costa Rica, their personal approach to filmmaking and their desire to portray relationships more realistically in Viaje. Their conversation took place during the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York City, on April 4, 2015. Read on…

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SALT OF THE EARTH – Review by Susan Granger

salt of the earth postet160One of the most dazzling documentaries ever, the Oscar-nominated “Salt of the Earth” chronicles the work of humanistic photographer Sabastiao Salgado – as seen through the eyes of his son, Juliano, and filmmaker Wim Wenders. This unique visual odyssey into “the heart of darkness” begins as Salgado comments on one of his most recognized images, a shot of 50,000 men in the vast Serra Pelada gold mine that formed part of the indigenous “Workers: Archeology of the Industrial Age” series, published in 1993. Read on…

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AWFJ @ Salem Film Fest 2015 Filmmaker Forum – “The Obligations and Limitations of Engagement”

At the heart of a good documentary is the heartbeat of the film’s lead characters, and they’re often people who’ve experienced traumatic, life changing events or situations. The documentarians on our panel have witnessed their subjects’ troubles in a most intimate way. We ask them to describe their relationships with their subjects, to tell us how they balance the requisite empathy and objectivity to tell the story, and how they know when it’s time to disengage and complete their films. Core questions that reveal the challenges and solutions facing filmmakers telling the stories of people experiencing difficult life situations. Participants: Erinnisse and Patryk Rebisz (co-dir.) Shoulder the Lion; Morgan Schmidt-Feng (dir.) Om Her Own; Jonathan Howells (dir.) Alfred & Jakobine; Marie-Lou Gingras (editor) Once Upon A Crime: The Borrelli – Davis Conspiracy. Moderated by Jennifer Merin. View the photo gallery.

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STRAY DOG Wins EDA Award @ Salem Film Fest 2015 – Jennifer Merin reports

Filmmakers Debra Granik and Tory Stewart were awarded the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at Salem Film Fest for Stray Dog, while Catherine Gund’s BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs Gravity was given an EDA Award Special Mention for Documentary Artistry.

Liz Whittenore, Jennifer Merin, Debra Granik, Tory Stewart

Liz Whittenore, Jennifer Merin, Debra Granik, Tory Stewart

For the fourth consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has partnered with Salem Film Fest (March 5 to 12, 2015) to present the juried AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film and to moderate Filmmaker Forum panels. Read on…

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Unconscious Bias and Hollywood’s Arrested Development – Dr. Martha M. Lauzen comments (Exclusive)

Martha Lauzen

Martha Lauzen

As this year’s Oscar nominations attest, the film industry continues to suffer from an acute case of arrested development when it comes to gender diversity. The lack of women nominees as directors, cinematographers, and writers is a symptom of wider biases operating in the business. Read on…

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2014 AWFJ EDA Awards Winners

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists announces the 2014 AWFJ EDA Awards, with BOYHOOD named Best Film and BIRDMAN getting six awards. Ava DuVernay and Laura Poitras also get top honors for SELMA and CITIZENFOUR, respectively, and both are named Female Icons of the Year. Congrats to all the EDA Award winners. To see the complete list, and find out which film had the best depiction of nudity and who is this year’s Actress Most in Need of a New Agent, read on…

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2014 AWFJ EDA Awards Nominees

With sincerest appreciation of all the great work that’s been done in film this year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists is pleased to announce the nominees for the Eighth Annual AWFJ EDA Awards. Find out which films are thought by AWFJ members to be the best of 2014, and which directors, and who gave the best performances. And who deserves recognition for baring it all in the most appropriately provocative way? Or is being considered for the most coveted award of Actress Most in Need of a New Agent? Or qualifies to be named AWFJ’s Female Icon of the Year for outstanding contributions to cinema and life in general? To get in the know, read on…

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2014 AWFJ EDA Awards Categories

For 2014′s year end awards, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists will present AWFJ EDA Awards in 25 categories, reducing the list from the 31 categories in 2013. Categories for elimination were selected by polling AWFJ members. AWFJ recognizes the contributions and concerns of women in film with the Female Focus and EDA Special Mention categories. Nominations will be announced on December 29, 2014. The winners will be announced on January 12, 2015. For the list of categories, read on…

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TOP FIVE – Review by Susan Granger

top five poster160Chris Rock offers a glimpse of life in the celebrity bubble, playing comedian-turned-actor Andre Allen, who agrees to a day-long interview with a New York Times journalist, Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson). Stand-up comic Allen found fame and fortune starring in a trilogy of dumb “Hammy the Bear” movies in which he played the ursine partner of a human policeman. A recovering alcoholic trying to stay sober, he’s embarked on two mid-life endeavors. Determined to be recognized as a serious artist, he’s opening a serious, historical drama “Uprize!” about a 1791 Haitian slave rebellion (which the Times has already panned) and he’s also celebrating his upcoming wedding to beautiful Erica Long (Gabrielle Union), a shallow reality-TV star. Read on…

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AWFJ Presents EDA Awards @ IDFA 2014

IDFA-logo-2014-light-outline

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Inc. (AWFJ) is pleased to announce the presentation of juried AWFJ EDA Awards at this year’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s leading documentary film festival.

IDFA 2014 takes place in Amsterdam from November 19 to 30. The EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2014 will presented at the festival on November 26.

AWFJ, a nonprofit organization of leading female film journalists with active members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, recognizes outstanding achievements by women filmmakers by presenting its prestigious EDA Awards at select film festivals around the world, and at year’s end. Read on…

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52nd New York Film Festival: IRIS – Review by Kathleen Carroll

In the ever so posh world of high fashion and design, Iris Apfel has always been thought of as a true original. In her view basic black is for sissies unless you add a vibrantly colored jacket. She simply adores Moroccan jewelry but just one necklace would never do for her. She loves to pile on her amber necklaces and bold cuff bracelets. Her signature look, which includes a huge pair of black-rimmed eye glasses (the kind of glasses the late Carol Channing used to use as her favorite accessory) is truly unique which is why she is still at age 98 a fashion icon. Read on…

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THE BOXTROLLS – Review by Susan Granger

Like “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” this quirky concept emanates from Laika animation studio in Oregon, where hand-drawn images are meticulously integrated with RP (rapid prototyping) and CG (computer-generated) pictures. Their painstaking stop-motion process consists of filming frame-by-frame (movies use 24 frames per second) while subtly controlling the characters, props, sets, etc. And when using 3D, each frame is manipulated twice. Eventually, the thousands of photographed frames are artfully edited and projected together sequentially, making the characters come to life. Read on…

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A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES – Review by Susan Granger

Mystery novelist Lawrence Block’s world-weary detective Matthew Scudder comes to the silver screen, capably embodied by Liam Neeson (“Taken,” “Unknown,” “Non-Stop”) in an obvious attempt to start a new film franchise. The prologue, set in 1991, establishes Scudder as a former NYC cop, a recovering alcoholic who gave up booze after a shootout went tragically awry. By 1999, Scudder has become an unlicensed investigator, noting: “I do favors for people….in return, they give me gifts.” Read on…

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AWFJ EDA Awards 2014 Schedule

awfjlinklogoThe Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) is pleased to announce the schedule for the 2014 AWFJ EDA Awards, our eighth annual year end awards presentation.

As in previous years, the EDA Awards will recognize and honor outstanding achievement for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and the other ‘Best’ categories presented by other awards groups. Additionally, we will also continue our tradition of signature categories, such as ‘Actress Most in Need of a New Agent,’ ‘Best Nudity,”Hall of Shame’ and other distinctive AWFJ EDA Awards classifications.

Our voters are Alliance of Women Film Journalists membership, a consortium of 91 of the top female film critics, reporters and commentators working in print, broadcast and online in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

In addition to our year end celebrations, AWFJ presents EDA Awards at select film festivals throughout the year. Edinburgh International Film Festival, Salem Film Fest, St. Louis International Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Whistler Film Festival have been on our festivals roster. We have also presented EDA Awards in conjunction with MoMA’s 25th Anniversary Retrospective of POV Programming on PBS.

Here is the 2014-15 AWFJ EDA AWARDS SCHEDULE:

  • Dec 16, 2014: 2013 EDA AWARDS CATEGORIES ANNOUNCED
  • Dec.18, 2014: Initial nominating ballots distributed to voting members.
  • Dec 22, 2014: Due date for completed nominating ballots.
  • Dec 29, 2014: 2012 EDA AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED.
  • Jan 02, 2015: Final voting ballots distributed to members.
  • Jan 07, 2015: Due date for completed voting ballots.
  • Jan 12, 2015: 2014 EDA AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED.

For an overview of the AWFJ EDA Awards and the lists of past winners, click here.

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AWFJ Set to Present EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Festival December 3-7, 2014

thumbnail NEW YORK — The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Inc. (AWFJ) is pleased to announce the presentation of juried AWFJ EDA Awards at this year’s Whistler Film Festival, held from December 3 to 7, 2014 in Whistler, British Columbia.

AWFJ returns to Whistler Film Festival for the second year running with the presentation of EDA Awards for best female-directed films in both both narrative and documentary feature categories. Read on…

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PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE – Review by Susan Granger

Anthropomorphizing automobiles, trains, ships and planes has become a Disney specialty. This time, the comedic adventure is set in a Western wilderness area known as Piston Peak National Park. Read on…

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