Athina Rachel Tsangari on CHEVALIER and Competition — Pam Grady interviews

athina rachel tsangariIt takes a woman — Greek writer-director Athina Rachel Tsangari (“Attenberg”) — to take the measure of men in Chevalier, her absurd comedy set on a luxurious yacht. Six men, apparently thrown together by a blend of business and familial obligations on a spearfishing vacation, drift off the coast of Greece and come up with a game to while away the time. They will determine who is “the best in general,” a competition that pits man against man as they take the measure of absolutely everything, from sporting prowess to sleeping posture, a rivalry that undermines the group’s bonhomie and comes to consume them. “It’s almost like a likability contest. It’s almost like a floating Facebook,” said Tsangari during a visit to the Bay Area, where Chevalier screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival. “Competition is just natural,” Tsangari said. “It’s what we do from kindergarten.” Read more…

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ DOXA: Dr. Heidi Janz and Eva Colmers’ Moving Acceptance Speech

Dr. Heidi Janz

Dr. Heidi Janz

Eva Colmers

Eva Colmers

VANCOUVER — At DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2016 awards ceremony, held on May 14, the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary Short was presented to co-directors Dr. Heidi Janz and Eva Colmers for We Regret to Inform You, their very affecting and effective film about Heidi’s arduous battle to get disability support from the Canadian government. The directors were not present to receive the award from AWFJ’s Karen Martin, but the had prepared a very beautiful and affirming acceptance speech on tape. You can read the transcript and/or watch the video:

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AWFJ Presents EDA Awards @ DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2016: The Winners!

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists attended Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival 2016 to present EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed documentary Feature and Best Female-directed documentary short. The festival took place from May 5 to 15. The EDA winners were announced and the awards presented at DOXA’s closing night ceremony on May 14, at The Playhouse in Vancouver.

At DOXA 2016, Karen Martin and Jennifer Merin present EDA Awards - Photo by Philip Martin

At DOXA 2016, Karen Martin and Jennifer Merin present EDA Awards – Photo by Philip Martin

This is the first year AWFJ has partnered with DOXA to present the EDA Awards for female-directed films at the festival. The awards honor outstanding achievements of women filmmakers working in the documentary realm. Read on…

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EBERTFEST 2016: WOMEN IN FILM PANEL — Chaz Ebert Moderated

ebertbest 2016 women's panel“How can you make an Oscar worthy film with one tenth of the budget? It’s an uneven playing field to begin with,” Darrien Gipson said in addressing the amazing disparity between the stats regarding the numbers of women compared to men from the very start of the hierarchical ladder to achievement in noviemaking. Gipson was a member of EBERTFEST’s Women in Film panel. Read more on THE FEMALE GAZE FORUM

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EDA Awards @ DOXA 2016: Nominated Films and Jurors — Jennifer Merin reports

doxa logo 1The DOXA Film Festival (held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from May 5 to 15, 2016) has announced the nomination of ten feature length documentaries and nine documentary shorts to be considered for the AWFJ EDA Awards @ DOXA. The award winners will be selected by two AWFJ jury panels, and will be presented at the festival’s gala awards ceremony on Saturday,May 14. Read on for the complete lists of nominated films and the names of the AWFJ EDA Awards @ DOXA jurors.

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BAD RAP — Tribeca Film Festival Review by Candice Frederick

The film’s title says it all: BAD RAP. Sure, it’s a play on words, but it also highlights a type of music that has long been considered the source of racial, political and social aggravation. Which makes it ripe for exploration in the documentary that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2016. But filmmaker Salima Koroma doesn’t focus on the negative sociopolitical issues persistently discussed in the media (misogyny, cultural appropriation, sexism, etc). Rather, she opens up the conversation to the far less discussed marginalization of Asian-American rappers in an industry dominated by African-American men. Read more>>

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AWFJ’s First Ten Years – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. AWFJ was formed in response to a need. Four founding members—Jenny Halper, Joanna Langfield, Maitland McDonagh and I—shared concerns about the disparity in opportunity and recognition for women film critics and feature writers. We were equally dismayed by the dearth of female-directed films and the pernicious stereotyping of female characters in mainstream Hollywood productions. his is a good time to take stock of the organization’s accomplishments and look to future goals. Read more>>

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SPOTLIGHT April 2016: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Actress, Rising Star of MILES AHEAD

awfjspotlightsmallsmallemayatzy1Miles Davis may be the main subject of Don Cheadle’s bravura writing/directing debut Miles Ahead, but he’s not the only one. While the largely fictional drama mostly takes place in the 1970s, it finds the jazz great at a point in his life where he is looking back and what he is looking back at is not a time in his life, but a person: Davis’s first wife, dancer Frances Taylor. Cheadle portrays her as the great love of the trumpeter’s life and inspiration for his music, but he also underlines that she was an accomplished individual with her own talents and her own life. Taylor danced on Broadway, including in the original production of West Side Story and she was a member of the Paris Opera Ballet. Read on…

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AWFJ News: The EDA Awards go to DOXA Film Festival

doxa logo 1Throughout the year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists presents EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Film at select film festivals around the world. Our goal is to recognize and honor the outstanding work of women directors of narrative features, documentaries and shorts. This year, for the first time, AWFJ proudly adds the DOXA Documentary Film Festival to its list of partnerships. The 15th edition of the annual festival takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from May 5 to 15, 2016. AWFJ will present EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Documentary Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary Short. Read on…

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My Sundance 2016 Trifecta — Chaz Ebert Comments

hooligan-sparrowWhen I won a trifecta at the Kentucky Derby, I was hailed as a heroine by my fellow revelers, who were natted out in their finest headgear. They marveled at the ability of anyone to guess three winning horses in a row, and in the correct order. Indeed it was not easy, but I had to admit that dumb luck played a big part. My Sundance experience this year felt like winning the trifecta. Read more>>

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Why Stallone Might Win the Oscar – Quendrith Johnson comments

CreedJordanSly16The deep rooted bond between Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone and tinseltown’s phenom director Ryan Coogler comes from shared experience: they were both homeless and from that position of deprivation fought their way to the movie major leagues. Stallone, in Santa Barbara to accept the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award, credits Coogler with creating greatness in Creed and talks about finding common ground with the young filmmaker who lived in his car while attending film school. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

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CINEMA CITIZEN: Release of TRAPPED is timed to Supreme Court decision on TRAP laws – Jennifer Merin reports

trappedFilmmaker Dawn Porter’s Trapped, the abortion rights film that won Sundance Film Festival 2016′s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking, is set to open theatrically on March 4, with subsequent broadcast dates in June on Independent Lens. The film’s nationwide release, timed for social impact, comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court takes on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the landmark case that will determine the constitutionality of “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws. Read more on CINEMA CITIZEN

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Sacha Pfeiffer talks SPOTLIGHT, Journalism and Subtext — Quendrith Johnson Interviews

RacheSachaOne thing is certain, in Oscar Best Film contender Spotlight, Rachel McAdams is well-cast as Boston Globe investigative reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, who proves to be an intensely interesting character in her own right. A key member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that cracked open the priest sex-abuse scandal that’s plumbed in the film, and dethroned Boston’s Catholic powerbroker Cardinal Law, Pfeiffer packed a impactful editorial punch. She still does when it comes to social and political issues. But when you meet her, she tilts her head to one side, leans back a bit and welcome you into her zone. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER...

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Johnny Depp Nabs Leonard Maltin’s Golden Statuette — Quendrith Johnson reports

JohnnyDeppHand-300x168Leonard Maltin just tells it like it is, but with such heart and insight for viewers. So much so that the elder statesman of cinema had a life achievement award renamed after him at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) in 2015: The Maltin Modern Master Award. Last night his legacy was cemented as A-List actor Johnny Depp, or “Jonathan Christopher Depp,” as Maltin called him, came to Santa Barbara International Film Festival to accept The Other Golden Statuette. Read more on AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

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SPOTLIGHT February 2016: Agnieszka Smoczyńska, Filmmaker The Lure

awfjspotlightsmallsmallOne of the happy surprises of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival was a debut feature in the International Dramatic Competition, The Lure a musical-fantasy-horror-romance hybrid set largely in a shabby discotheque in 1980s Warsaw. Read on…

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Festival: The Winners! – Katherine Brodsky reports

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At the Whistler Film Festival Awards Brunch on Sunday, December 6, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) recognized the outstanding achievements by four women filmmakers by presenting its prestigious EDA Awards at the festival for the third consecutive year. Read more…

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Mary Walsh’s Feminist Keynote Speech @ Whistler Film Fest 2015 – Guest Column (Exclusive)

mary walsh head brixWe’re still celebrating something we like to call International Women’s Day. Even root vegetables get a whole week. Yes, International Turnip Week, October 7th to 14th. And the entire month of May is International Pecan Month, a whole month for nuts, and women only get a day. Who knew back in the second-wave, when we were all sitting around trying to get a gawk at our vajayjays with those mirrors, that the world would end up here. Of course, that’s the thing about the future, you never know what’s coming at you. Read the full speech in THE FEMALE GAZE.

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AWFJ To Present EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Festival 2015 – Katherine Brodsky reports

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Inc. (AWFJ) is partnering with Whistler Film Festival 2015, held from December 2 to 6 in Whistler, British Columbia, to present juried AWFJ EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Fiction Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary Feature. This is the third consecutive year of the partnership between Whistler Film Festival and AWFJ to recognize and honor excellent work by female directors. Read on…

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MOTLEY’S LAW and A STRANGE LOVE AFFAIR WITH EGO Win AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015

AWFJ was on hand to present EDA Awards to two outstanding documentaries at IDFA 2015′s awards ceremony on November 25, 2015, before a full house of filmmakers and documentary industry honchos at Amsterdam’s Melkweg’s Rabozaal. Read more>>

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Nicole Nielsen Horanyi on MOTLEY’S LAW

Director Nicole HoranyiFilmmaker Nicole Nielsen Horanyi won the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015 for Motley’s Law, a film about a courageous yet pragmatic woman who refuses to relinquish her mission even under death threats. Kimberly Motley, beauty queen turned litigator, is the sole American practicing in Afghan courts, navigating a corrupt legal system. Horanyi follows Motley from court in Kabul to home in the US, where she’s raising three kids. Motley’s Law is a powerful reminder of what one person can accomplish with courage and tenacity. Read Nicole Nielsen Horanyi’s comments about making the film on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Ester Gould on A STRANGE LOVE AFFAIR WITH EGO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Strange Love Affair With Ego won a Special Mention from the AWFJ EDA Award jury at IDFA 2015. Director Ester Gould’s very personal, brave and beautiful cinematic search for an understanding about her beloved older sister’s life and circumstances is structured as a layered tapestry of memory, projection, re-enactments of letters and imaginings — all of which are woven together to become an affecting poem about the fragility inherent in all humans. Read filmmaker Ester Gould’s comments about making the film on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Alisa Kovalenko on ALISA IN WARLAND

alisa 1Alisa in Warland, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015, is a film in which the director discovered that she was also the lead character. Just out of film school, Alisa Kovalenko and Liubov Durakova set out to document the war in their homeland, embedding themselves with soldiers on the front in Eastern Ukraine. Read what Alisa Kovalenko has to say about their experiences as first time filmmakers working under truly extraordinary circumstances on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Ina Borrmann on EVERY 28 DAYS

inaEvery 28 Days, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015, is a very personal and deeply moving documentary in which filmmaker Ina Bborrmann chronicles her efforts to become pregnant and bear a child. IDFA’s catalog description of the film is below. Read what Borrmann has to say about the challenges of making this documentary about herself and her own life choices on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Mariana Viñoles on CAROLINA’S WORLD

carolinas mariana vinCarolina’s World, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015, is filmmaker Mariana Viñoles’ portrait of Carolina, a 20 year old who loves to tango, and loves life and has Downs Syndrome, The film is up close and personal, entirely revealing and always respectful. Read what the filmmaker has to say about her experiences in making Carolina’s World on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Beata Bubenets on CHECHEN

beata bubenetsChechen, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015. Filmmaker Beata Bubenets follows a soldier, Ruslan, during the Ukrainian crisis of 2014. After protecting demonstrators in Kiev, he goes to Donbass, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting against government troops. Chechen is an intimate portrait of a mercenary who’s engagement in hostilities counters his own peaceful nature. Read what Beata Bubenets has to say about her subject and making the film on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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