When Katell Quillévéré was awarded France’s Jean Vigo Prize in 2010 for her first feature film, Love Like Poison, the cinematic community knew they had an exciting and original new filmmaker to follow. Quillévéré, who studied philosophy and cinema at the University of Paris, shows a unique talent for asking big questions through the lives of her characters. Read on…read more
With the good humor and energy that have helped her break through to the front ranks of the film industry, director/ screenwriter/actress Amma Asante celebrated the opening week box-office victory of her spellbinding feature Belle (2013) over the popular superhero franchise. Belle tells the moving true story of a biracial woman, Dido Elizabeth Belle, brought up as an aristocrat in 18th century England. While it luxuriates in the kind of genteel elegance that is catnip to audiences, Asante also offers a penetrating look at the abomination of slavery upon which such rich lifestyles were based, and the confusion its title character feels as a result. Read on…read more
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…read more
The filmmaking team of Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk explore the results of social media bullying with the new thought-provoking, conversation-starting documentary, Audrie & Daisy.
The documentary, which is currently streaming on Netflix, focuses primarily on two teenage sexual assault victims who had their humiliation made public via Facebook and other online social media outlets. The documentary should be considered a must-see for high school students, and the filmmakers should be applauded for their approach to this disturbing topic. Read on.read more
Vera Farmiga earned an Oscar nomination as well as AWFJ, BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globe nominations for her outstanding work in 2009’s Up in the Air. But that was just the tip of the awards iceberg as Farmiga’s been recognized for her impressive work in diverse roles by film critics and awards organizations worldwide throughout her 20+ year career. Read on>>.read more
AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Sacha Pfeiffer talks SPOTLIGHT, Journalism and Subtext — Quendrith Johnson Interviews
One 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...read more
AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Frontrunner SPOTLIGHT, #OscarsSoWhite, The Contentious Award Season – Quendrith Johnson comments
If Oscar-winner Sean Penn can go interview El Chapo, then the state of journalism really is in trouble — oh, never mind, this is just indicative of how movie people perceive and interpret the craft of journalistic writing and reporting. A cocky Penn goes on Charlie Rose to call out those who ‘don’t think I’m a real journalist,’ while having committed a de facto ethical violation of the profession by grandstanding for Rolling Stone with a fugitive, mass-murdering, drug Lord. But, if turnabout is fair play, most journalists would happily take a shot at starring in his next straight-to-video motion picture. But what are we really discussing here, writing, reporting, The Death of The Media, The Rise of The Internet? Nope. This inelegant segue leads directly to our Oscar front runner for Best Picture, Spotlight. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCERread more
SPOTLIGHT, 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
“For me, this kind of story is why we do this.” So says Liev Schreiber as Marty Baron, the editor of the Boston Globe newspaper on the eve of the publication, in January 2002, of a story the team of investigative journalists in the paper’s Spotlight department had been working on for months. It would crack open the coverup of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church in Boston, led to the revelations of similar coverups around the U.S. and across the planet, and would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2003. But “this kind of story” represents the sort of journalism that, while not yet dead, is seriously threatened by the new economic realities of the Internet… Read more>>read more
MISS YOU ALREADY, TRUMBO, SPOTLIGHT, SPECTRE and other November 6 openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin
Don’t miss Miss You Already, a moving drama about lasting friendship between two women. Skip The Outskirts, a film that casts teenage girls as bullies. Trumbo and Spotlight, two superb truth-based narratives that put mainstream media under scrutiny, feature fine female performances — by Diane Lane and Helen Mirren in Trumbo, and by Cate Blanchett in Spotlight. SPECTRE draws on past James Bond plots, introduces new spy gadgets and continues agent antics in a way that’s appealingly spoofy — but women are still foils for Bond’s fancies. Brooklyn stars Saoirse Ronan as an Irish woman who immigrates to America to find a better life, but finds herself torn between the land of opportunity and her homeland. Read the reviews…read more
Sure to wind up in many 10 Best lists this year, this is the fascinating, true crime story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that revealed the Roman Catholic Church’s systematic ‘cover-up’ of pedophile priests. Spotlight is the name of the Globe’s investigative team, headed by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) and comprised of Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sarah Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matty Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). They report to managing editor Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery), whose father figured prominently in the Watergate-themed “All the President’s Men.” Read on…read more
This month, AWFJ’s SPOTLIGHT is focused on Sheila Johnson, billionaire entrepreneur, co-founder of BET, philanthropist and the force behind the four-day Middleburg Film Festival in Virginia – which celebrates its second year this month with a slate of 20 films, including titles that are already garnering Oscars buzz. Read on…read more
“I’d played a wide range of roles but I thought this is really pushing it,” the actress joked on the New Orleans set of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where she was shooting the blockbuster last year.
She decided to give it a shot since it was unusual and felt like something new.
Knowing that it would be a challenge, she went to the casting call and encountered “20-somethings who were doing splits in the hallway” in preparation, some of them were even acrobats. But, with her nuanced and soulful interpretation of the character she capture the role of Maurice.
So, who is Karen Konoval, the actress who was able to portray a male Orangutan and make him so memorable? Read on…read more
Asante’s second feature actually started with a postcard of a painting that shows two women — one black and one white — dressed in elegant 18th Century garb.
The image, along with the first draft of the script for Belle, was sent to Amma Asante by producer Damian Jones, who’d been so impressed by the filmmakers first feature, the BAFTA-winning A Way of Life, that he wanted her to direct this lavish period drama about a mixed race woman of means living among the English aristocracy during the 18th Century.
Asante was immediately intrigued. She had long dreamed of doing an Austenesque movie with a black female lead. When this opportunity knocked, she oped the door. And in came Belle. Read on…read more
It took British director Jonathan Glazer a decade to make Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson stuck with him all the way. Read on…read more