AWFJ on KTEP 88.5 FM: Talking EDA Awards, Oscars, and the Status of Women In Film — Jennifer Merin reports

KTEP 88.5 FM’s ON FILM host Charles Horak discusses The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ annual and festival EDA Awards recognizing the work and contributions done by women and about women, both in front and behind the camera, points to the decreased level of opportunity for women behind the camera in 2016, and elicits a list of must-see undervalued 2016 films by and about women. Thank you, Charles Horak for your ongoing support of AWFJ and our goals. Listen to the program on KTEP 88.5 FM.

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It’s a Wrap: AWFJ Looks Back at 2016

AWFJ is completing our tenth anniversary year, and it’s time to take stock and evolve. What has our organization accomplished during 2016, and what are our goals for 2017. But as we look back to evaluate our accomplishments and before we set forth plans for a new year filled with worthwhile projects, let’s pause for a moment to give due credit to the AWFJ members who’ve contributed their ideas, time and energy to make our 2016 programs and enterprises so successful. Well done! And here’s round of applause and a virtual pat on the back to each of you in recognition of your collegiality and activism. Now on to the nitty gritty about what AWFJ has done curing 2016, with shout outs to individual members who helmed projects and made them happen. Read on…

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MOONLIGHT Tops AWFJ EDA Award Winners 2016

moonlight-posterThe women of AWFJ have voted!

Moonlight is the big winner in this year’s tenth annual AWFJ EDA Awards, garnering awards in seven categories. AWFJ voters show love for esteemed director/activist Ava DuVernay with three EDAs. Manchester By The Sea won two. EDAs went to a diverse array of talents in 13 additional categories, including Bravest Performance, Actress Most in Need of a New Agent and the coveted AWFJ Hall of Shame Award. Read on…

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Whistler Film Festival 2016: Feminism Soars – Jennifer Merin reports

whistler-2016The 16th annual Whistler Film Festival has drawn to a close after five days packed with film screenings, a full house of filmmaker labs and pitch sessions, parties and power skiing. Parity for women is a cause that’s fully embraced by festival director Shauna Hardy Mishaw, who has established partnerships with female focused organizations to train, mentor and promote women directors and producers at the festival. Additionally, femme-helmed films scored big in award wins. Read more>>

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Festival 2016: The Winners — Jennifer Merin reports

whistler-2016For the fourth consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists was at Whistler Film Festival to present AWFJ EDA Awards to female filmmakers for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary. The winners were announced on December 4 at the festival’s awards ceremony at the Maury Young Arts Center. Read on…

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AWFJ to Present EDA Awards at Whistler Film Festival — Jennifer Merin reports

whistler-2016This is the fourth consecutive year in which the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has the honor to partner with Whistler Film Festival to recognize women filmmakers with presentation of EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature Film and Best Female-Directed Documentary at this year’s festival, held in Whistler from November 30 to December 4, 2016. Whistler Film Festival nominates narrative features and documentaries for consideration. Selected by AWFJ jurors, the winners will be announced on December 4, at the Whistler Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Read on…

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Maite Alberdi Wins IDFA 2016 AWFJ EDA Award for THE GROWN UPS

idfa-2016For the third consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. At a ceremony hosted by Chile Docs and held on November 22, IDFA director Ally Derks introduced AWFJ jurors Jennifer Merin and Dorothy Woodend who were attending the festival, and they in turn announced winner of the award and the cash prize of 2,500 Euros. The winner of the IDFA 2016 AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed film is The Grown Ups, directed by Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi. Read more…

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Asli Ozarslan on DIL LEYLA

asli-ozarslanAsli Özarslan’s Dil Leyla is the story of Imret Leyla, mayor of Cizre, a Kurdish town in Turkey. At age 26, she’s the youngest mayor in Turkey. Having left Cizre for Germany at age five, after her father, a Kurdish guerilla, was killed, she returns to help rebuild her town. Political tensions rise as Turkey’s national elections near. In profiling Leyla’s struggle, Özarslan calls forth contemplation of Turkey’s political climate and of women’s influence in bettering the outlook. Read Özarslan’s interview about the film on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Areum Parkkang on AREUM

areum-parkkangIn her first documentary feature, South Korean teacher and filmmaker Areum Parkkang takes a look at her own difficulties in finding a boyfriend. When her numerous blind dates don’t lead anywhere, she asks her students for their advise. They tell her that it is her appearance that is off putting. They advise her to make herself more attractive by slimming down, dressing up in a more feminine way, and wearing makeup. Read her interview on THE FEMALE GAZE

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Coco Schrijber on HOW TO MEET A MERMAID

cococroppedsmallDutch filmmaker Coco Schrijber’s highly cinematic style and essay-like approach to filmmaking transforms her personal quest for resolution about her brother’s downing suicide into a profound contemplation of life-sustaining and death-dealing aspects of the sea. She evokes the unsolved mystery of Rebecca, a cruise ship employee who disappeared while her ship was at sea and the story of a Mexican surfer who is flying across the ocean to find more challenging waves on other shores to broaden her narrative. Read what Coco Schrijber has to say about the film and filmmaking on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Mette Carla Albrechtsen and Lea Glob on VENUS

mettecarla-and-lea-cropped-300x216Danish filmmakers Mette Carla Albrechtsen and Lea Glob explore the subject of young women’s sexuality by setting up an open ‘casting call’ at which they interview the film’s subjects about their sexual experiences and attitudes towards sexuality and their bodies as they develop from adolescence to womanhood. Through this compilation of interviews, the filmmakers contemplate their own attitudes towards sex, and offer the opportunity for women who see the film to do as, as well. Read what they have to say about Venus and filmmaking on THE FEMALE GAZE

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Elvira Diaz on EL PATIO

elvira-diazFilmmaker Elvira Diaz was born in 1975 in France, after her father fled from Chile as a political refugee. El Patio is her third documentary about the consequences of Pinochet’s dictatorship on witnesses and victims’ lives. In the film, she follows aging gravediggers as they reveal, for the first time, their haunting memories of surreptitiously burying ‘disappeared persons’ during the dark days of the Pinochet regime. The film is nominated for the IDFA 2016 AWFJ EDA Award of 2,500 Euros. Read Diaz’s comments about making the film on THE FEMALE GAZE

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Alice Schmid on THE GIRL DOWN LOCH ANZI

alice-schmid-headshotAlice Schmid, filmmaker and novelist, tells stories from around the globe, mostly focusing on children. Say No (1993) is a film classic on child abuse. Working in Liberia and Sierra Leone from 1999 to 2002, she showed the lives of child soldiers. In Letter to Grown-Ups (1994) she followed a child through the mine-fields of Cambodia. In Every Drop For The Future (1996), she accompanied a Bolivian girl on her two-hour walk to school. Schmid’s latest documentary, The Girl Down Loch Anzi, is nominated for the IDFA 2016 AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film. Read her comments about the film on THE FEMALE GAZE.

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Ten Films Nominated for the IDFA AWFJ EDA Award’s €2,500 Prize — Jennifer Merin reports

idfa-2016Programmers at IDFA have selected ten documentaries to be considered for this year’s IDFA AWFJ EDA Award, which bestows a prize of €2,500 for the Best Female-Directed Documentary. The winner will be announced and the award will be presented in Amsterdam on November 22, 2016. This year’s AWFJ jurors are Dorothy Woodend (Canada), Julide Tanriverdi (Germany) and Jennifer Merin (USA). 2016 is the third consecutive year that IDFA and AWFJ have partnered to recognize women’s outstanding achievements in documentary filmmaking, and it is the first year in which the EDA Award comes with a monetary prize. For the full list of films, read on…

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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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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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SPOTLIGHT March 2016: Margaret Sixel, Film Editor, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

awfjspotlightsmallsmallsixel head 1It’s been a season of honors for Sixel. The Oscar is just the latest addition to the many she has already received—a list that includes a BAFTA, the Australian Film Institute’s AACTA, and AWFJ’s EDA Award, among others—for her work in giving shape, form, and nail-biting tension to Mad Max: Fury Road. After over 30 years in the business, it was Sixel’s first action movie. It will certainly not be her last. Read on…

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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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Women at the Oscars, Statswise – Brandy McDonnell comments

Following a year when gender equality – or rather the lack thereof – was one of the biggest issues in Hollywood, the Academy Award nominations reflected a bit of improvement in the number of female nominees for the 2016 Oscars. But only a bit. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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2015 EDA Award 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 awards categories for the 2015 EDA Awards. This year, there are 21 categories. Leading the list with the greatest number of nominations are Carol (nine nominations), Mad Max: Fury Road (six nominations), Room (five nominations), Spotlight (five nominations) The Martian (four nominations). See the full list.

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The 2015 EDA Award winners will be announced on January 12, 2016.

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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: 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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