MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 18-25: DETROIT

motw logo 1-35Intense. Infuriating. Immediate. Kathryn Bigelow‘s powerful, often-heartbreaking historical drama Detroit is all of these things and more. Set amid the chaos, violence, and anger of the riots that dominated Motor City during the summer of 1967, the film’s narrative focuses on the police brutality that took place at the Algiers Motel on July 25 and 26 of that year, and the justice system’s subsequent whitewashing of that heinous event. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 11 to 18, 2017: PATTI CAKE$

motw logo 1-35Opening August 18, Patti Cake$ tells the story of aspiring New Jersey rapper Patricia “Killa P” Dombrowski, portrayed by Australian actress Danielle Macdonald in a breakout perfomance. Patti lives with her single mom, Barb (Bridget Everett), and grandmother, Nana (Cathy Moriarty), in near squalor in urban New Jersey. Barb spends her evenings getting drunk and bitterly reveling in memories of her youthful days of near-stardom as a pop singer — a dream that fell by the wayside when she got pregnant with Patti. Patti, without outbursts of rebellion or resentment, sustains the family with menial jobs, while literally dreaming every night of stardom, as over-the-top visions of famous rapper O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah) float through her sleeping mind. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Best Femme-Helmed, Femme-Centric Films of 2017, To Date

motw logo 1-35Focusing specifically on films directed by women as well as those featuring strong female lead characters and female-centric stories, AWFJ’s Team #MOTW has endorsed 31 exceptional films during 2017, to date. Because we pick only one film for our Movie of the Week endorsement, we’ve actually had to pass up a good number of other superb films that qualified, but were not our collective top choice. Now that we’ve arrived at the midway point in this year’s release schedule, we’re pausing to look back at all the films we’ve considered for #MOTW endorsement, and we are pleasantly surprised to note the volume of wonderful films made by and about women. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 21-28: 500 YEARS

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500 Years is the third film in director Pamela Yates’ trilogy about Guatemala. Expansive in its coverage, and impassioned about its subject, the film is very much a classic social justice documentary, right down to the final scenes of enormous crowds thronging the city streets, demanding change. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK July 7 – 14: LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD

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The word indefatigable may well have been fashioned for the likes of Gertrude Bell. At a time, when women were largely confined to the domestic sphere, Bell climbed mountains, rode camels, palled about with Lawrence of Arabia, and penned letters, mountains of them, all the while dressed in impeccable fashion.Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 30-July 6: THE BEGUILED

motw logo 1-35With her sixth feature, director Sofia Coppola can no longer be denied the appellation of auteur… if she ever could. The lush visuals, sultry atmosphere, and almost serene sense of the sinister that infuses The Beguiled add intriguing new layers to the distinctive signature approach to cinematic storytelling Coppola has been developing since her debut with 1999’s The Virgin Suicides. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 23-30: BAND AID

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“Love is hell” might very well be the title of one of the original songs featured in the new romantic comedy Band Aid, this week’s Movie of the Week. Although in the parlance of Zoe Lister-Jones’ directorial debut, calling the song “Love is heck” might actually be more fitting. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 9 – 16: MEGAN LEAVEY

motw logo 1-35A film about a woman and a dog already has one at a distinct advantage. Critical faculties are of little avail against the soulful eyes of an adorable canine. Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film Megan Leavey (opening June 9, 2017) pulls at the heartstrings with near shameless abandon, and for the most part it works. – Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 2 -9: SAMI BLOOD

motw logo 1-35“Sami Blood,” set primarily in 1930s Sweden, tells the heartbreaking and eye opening story of Elle-Marja (Lene Cecilia Sparrok), a teenage girl of the Sami, a semi-nomadic indigenous people whose highly sophisticated traditional culture and way of life are completely intertwined with the reindeer they herd and breed throughout Northern Scandinavia. Framed by contemporary scenes in which an elderly Elle-Marja (now known by the Swedish name of Christina) reluctantly returns to the homeland and traditions she fled as a girl, the film is a moving coming-of-age story about a young girl wrestling with issues of cultural identity and destiny in addition to all of her typical teenage angst. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK April 28 – May 5: TOMORROW EVER AFTER

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The notion of time travel is almost as old as time itself. Ever since we humans invented the idea, we’ve been struggling against it, wanting to go forwards, and then backwards, anywhere but the oppressive present. Director Ela Thier takes this conceit, and tips it gently on its head in her remarkable new film Tomorrow Ever After. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK: April 14-21, 2017: HEAL THE LIVING

motw logo 1-35Melancholy and moving, Heal the Living is a quiet, affecting French drama about organ donation. It weaves multiple characters’ stories together as it explores both the heartbreaking loss and the heady promise of renewed life. Continue reading…

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 31- April 7, 2017: THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE

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The Zookeeper’s Wife is a powerful, emotional ​fact-based ​drama about both the depth of human suffering experienced during World War II and the remarkable courage and strength of character that ordinary women and men demonstrated when their friends’ and neighbors’ lives were in danger. Jessica Chastain stars as Antonina Zabinska, a warm, gentle wife, mother, and animal lover who helps her husband, Jan (Johan Heldenbergh), run the Warsaw Zoo in late-1930s Poland. Read on…

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St Louis International Film Festival Selects Nominees for AWFJ EDA Award @ SLIFF 2015 – Michelle McCue reports

sliff logoAWFJ will again partner with the St Louis International Film Festival to recognize women’s accomplishments in filmmaking, presenting AWFJ EDA Awards for the Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary at the 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival will be held Nov. 5-15, 2015. Nominations for the AWFJ EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Film and Best Female-Directed Documentary are made by SLIFF and have been announced. Five films will compete in each category. Here’s a glimpse of the films that have been selected: Read on…

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AWFJ to Present EDA Awards @ SLIFF 2015 – Michelle McCue Reports

SLIFF_2015_poster-wideThe Alliance of Women Film Journalists will present juried AWFJ EDA Awards @ St Louis International Film Festival 2015 (SLIFF) for Best Female-Directed Narrative and Documentary Feature Films.

The 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival takes place Nov. 5-15. This is the third year AWFJ partners with SLIFF to recognize outstanding achievements of women filmmakers. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, March 2-8: MERCHANTS OF DOUBT

Opening March 6, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Merchants of Doubtthe new documentary from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food, Inc). Here, he turns his attention to the shadowy world of pundits-for-hire, shining a light on the infuriating ways in which huge organisations attempt to sway public opinion against those inconvenient truths that may have a negative impact on their popularity and, more importantly, their profits. These often take the form of highly paid, media-savvy individuals who talk a good game to persuade the general public that scientific fact – smoking kills, for example, or climate change is something to worry about – is actually unfounded social hysteria. Read on…

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Salem Film Fest 2015

salemfilmfest2014logoThe Alliance of Women Film Journalists is partnering with Salem Film Fest to present the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at this year’s festival, taking place in Salem, Massachusetts from March 5 to 12, 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year of the EDA Awards partnership. For the list of nominated films and jury members, read on…

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AWFJ Presents EDA Awards @ Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) has extended its EDA Awards festival program to include presentation of juried EDA Awards for best female-directed narrative and documentary features at the 2014 Edinburgh International Film Festival, held from June 18 to 30, 2014. The EDA Award winners were announced and EDA Award certificates presented by AWFJ President Jennifer Merin at EIFF’s awards ceremony on June 27, at Edinburgh’s FilmHouse. AWFJ jurors presented three awards to female-directed films at EIFF this year. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, April 21-27: THE GERMAN DOCTOR

german doctor poster art160Opening April 25, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is The German Doctor, Argentinean filmmaker Lucia Puenzo’s cinematic adaptation of her best-selling eponymous novel. This is the horrifying story of Dr. Joseph Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death,” who fled retribution in post-WWII Europe and hid out in Argentina, eluding Israeli agents determined to bring him to justice. Mengele takes up residence in remote Patagonia with a family who are unaware of his heinous past and risk falling prey to his habitual evil. The film is a truth-based horror tale of tremendous magnitude. Brilliant performed and beautifully shot, The German Doctor is a monumental clash between evil and innocence. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, April 14-20: FADING GIGOLO

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Opening April 18, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Fading Gigolo, a quirky and tender New York comedic fantasy written and directed by John Turturro, who also stars as Fioravante, an unspectacular florist who is in need of money and so takes a turn at the world’s oldest profession– and is surprisingly, spectacularly successful.

Costar Woody Allen as his pal and pimp, along with Sharon Stone, Liew Schreiber, Jill Scott and Bob Balaban give seductive performances that bring engaging eccentricity, genuine warmth and subtle humor to the film.

This is Turturro’s fifth feature, and it’s a winner. Read on…

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