EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Trude Berge Ottersen and Gry Elisabeth Mortensen on SEALERS

EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Trude Berge Ottersen and Gry Elisabeth Mortensen on SEALERS

Norwegian filmmakers Gry Elisabeth Mortensen and Trude Berge Ottersen brave difficult filming conditions to follow a crew of Norwegian seal hunters as they prepare for and set out on what may be their last excursion onto the polar ice. Their families have been seal hunters for generations, but the profession is increasingly challenged by international laws preventing the killing of the animals. Sealers is a close up and personal look at a dying tradition. Read on…

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview: Lucija Stojevic on LA CHANA

AWFJ EDA Awards @ IDFA 2016 Filmmaker Interview:  Lucija Stojevic on LA CHANA

Lucija Stojevic’s La Chana is an up close and personal profile of Antonia Santiago Amador, the hugely popular flamenco dancer. Known as La Chana, Amador was revered by dance afficiandos for her vibrantly passionate spirit and extraordinary footwork. La Chana’s career peaked during the late 1960s, shortly after which she inexplicably vanished from the dance world and her own celebrity. Stojevic delves into Amador’s artistry and complex personality by intertwining spectacular footage of her performances with current footage of her living quietly in Barcelona, entertaining her daughter, coaching talented young dancers and preparing for a comeback recital — and revealing, for the first time, why she stepped out of the spotlight at the height of her career. Read what Lucija Stojevic has to say about her film…

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

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

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. Read more…

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

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

Alice Schmid, filmmaker and novelist, tells stories from around the globe, mostly focusing on children. The Girl Down Lock Anzi, nominated for the IDFA 2016 AWFJ EDA Award, is set in rural Switzerland, where 12- year-old Laura is fascinated by and works up the courage to explore a legend about a maiden who is supposedly imprisoned in caves close to her family’s farm. Alice Schmid comments about making the film and filmmaking. Read on…

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Dr. Heidi Janz and Eva Colmers Accept AWFJ EDA Award @ DOXA 2016 — Transcription of Acceptance Speech

Dr. Heidi Janz and Eva Colmers Accept AWFJ EDA Award @ DOXA 2016 — Transcription of Acceptance Speech

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 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. Read the transcript

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

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

Filmmaker 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.

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

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

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

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

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

A 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.

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

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

Alisa 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 fron in Eastern Ukraine. Read what Alisa Kovalenko has to say about their experiences as first time filmmakers working under truly extraordinary circumstances.

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

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

Every 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.

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

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

Carolina’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,

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Kari Anne Moe on REBELS

EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Kari Anne Moe on REBELS

Rebels, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015, is about the problems faced by disenfranchised youths in Norway. Filmmaker Kari Anne Moe takes a tough yet sympathetic look at the struggles of Norwegian dropouts enrolled in a special social welfare program created to help them renter the mainstream. IDFA’s catalog description of the film is copied below. Read what filmmaker Kari Anne Moe has to say about her experience…

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EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Miriam Chandy Menacherry and Maheen Zia on LYARI NOTES

EDA Awards @ IDFA 2015 Filmmaker Interview: Miriam Chandy Menacherry and Maheen Zia on LYARI NOTES

Lyari Notes, one of ten films nominated for the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA 2015, is an inspiring girl-centric film about female empowerment in through music. The film is the result of a remarkable collaboration between veteran Indian filmmaker Miriam Chandy Menacherry and first time Pakistani filmmaker Maheen Zia. In their collaboration, the filmmakers bravely confronted and overcame cultural bias towards women and ethnicity. Read what the filmmakers have to say about their process.

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SUFFRAGETTE Producers Alison Owen and Faye Ward on Feminism and Working Together – Jennifer Merin interviews

SUFFRAGETTE Producers Alison Owen and Faye Ward on Feminism and Working Together – Jennifer Merin interviews

It took Alison Owen and Faye Ward five or six years of brainstorming and campaigning to produce Suffragette, the narrative feature about women’s struggle for the right to vote in Britain a century ago. The film, which is arriving on big screens at a moment when feminism in filmmaking is trending and Hollywood’s male-dominated film industry hierarchy is under investigation for sexual bias and harassment of woman, has a compelling contemporary resonance.

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Writer/Director Philiane Phang Wins Inaugural “Phosphate Prize at IFP” For Strong Female Characters – Jennifer Merin reports

Writer/Director Philiane Phang Wins Inaugural “Phosphate Prize at IFP” For Strong Female Characters – Jennifer Merin reports

IFP has announced that the recipient of the inaugural Phosphate Prize at IFP is writer/director Philiane Phang. The Phosphate Prize at IFP, which includes a $25,000 grant funded by Phosphate Productions, was created to recognize narrative feature film screenplays that “provide a strong and complex lead female character.” The unrestricted cash grant also encourages the recipient to continue on her or his career path of writing and making quality independent films.

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Michael Sheen on FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD and Female Focus in Film – Jennifer Merin interviews (Exclusive Video)

Michael Sheen on FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD and Female Focus in Film – Jennifer Merin interviews (Exclusive Video)

In Far From The Madding Crowd, Michael Sheen portrays one of three male suitors to the fiercely independent Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), and he’s played opposite strong leading female characters in other films, as well. In this exclusive, uncut interview, Sheen talks about the female focus of Far From The Madding Crowd, the need for balance and complexity in women’s roles in movies and a living female icon he’d like to see portrayed on screen. Watch the video…

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Sundance Female Filmmaker Initiative: New Stats for Women Directors

Sundance Female Filmmaker Initiative:  New Stats for Women Directors

New research shows films by women and men are equally likely to receive distribution out of the Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Competition, but gap widens from there. Industry perceptions of a gendered marketplace, scarcity of talent pool, lack of ambition, as well as gender imbalance among gatekeepers, help explain broken pipeline for female filmmakers. The new study was conducted at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Read on…

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Flat Stats Indicate Hollywood is Still A Man’s World – Jennifer Merin Reports on Martha Lauzen’s Latest Study

Dr. Martha Lauzen, who heads San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television, has just released her latest study about on-screen representations of female characters in the top 100 grossing films of 2014. Dr. Lauzen has been tracking the disparity in roles for women for decades. Year after year, her exacting studies show that there is little change in the stats. Gain a few points one year, lose a few the next. Progress is flat, and that’s always the disappointing non-news. Read on…

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Salem Film Fest Honors Female Documentarians

Salem Film Fest Honors Female Documentarians

Salem Film Fest, the docs-only festival that takes place annually in Salem, Massachusetts, has invited the Alliance of Women Film Journalists to present the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at the 2015 festival, scheduled for March 5 to 12. Partnering with AWFJ for the fourth consecutive year, SFF programmers have nominated six outstanding female-directed films for EDA Awards recognition. Read on…

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AWFJ @ Whistler Film Fest Presents EDAs to Three Women Filmmakers — Jennifer Merin reports

AWFJ @ Whistler Film Fest Presents EDAs to Three Women Filmmakers — Jennifer Merin reports

Returning to Whistler Film Festival for the second year, AWFJ presented EDA Awards to women filmmakers represented in the 2014 program. Of the eight festival-nominated female-directed films, five were narratives and three were documentaries. Honoring the high quality of films in both genres, AWFJ decided to level the fic/nonfic playing field by combining the two categories, and assigning all jurors to vote on all films. That decision resulted in the selection of three EDA Award winners. Read on…

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