AWFJ announces its Top 100 Films List

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As AFI releases its Tenth Anniversary 100 Greatest Films List, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists launches its first-ever Top 100 Films list on June 25, 2007.

Why another list? Consider this: AFI’s list began with 400 nominated titles, of which 4.5 were directed by women. Even allowing for the reality that film production’s been dominated by men for most of the 20th century, that’s a miniscule percentage. And, women like Dorothy Arzner have been directing movies since there were movies to direct.

Is the perspective of women film journalists different from that of a mixed group of film-industry voters? You be the judge.

When AWFJ’s members were asked to nominate films, with no mandate or directive beyond choosing films they felt were works for the ages, the group honored a significantly greater number of films made by and/or about women.

AWFJ members annotate the list, indicating why each film was selected. For example, Maitland McDonagh applauds “Clueless,” that trendy teen spin off of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” as a “nimble comedy of manners that has brains and heart to match its bubbly good looks,” while Carrie Rickey calls Ingrid Bergman’s performance in “Notorious” her “most sensual ever” and Eleanor Ringel Gillespie praises Fernanda Montenego in “Central Station” as “a world-class study of bitterness dissuaded, scorn swept away, possibility and optimism stumbled upon after too long an absence.” And, find out which film Susan Wloszczyna says makes “The Devil Wears Prada” look like a knock off.’

The list in its entirely will be posted on on June 25.

The launch of AWFJ’s Top 100 Films List is sponsored by The Women’s Media Center, New York. Presenters at the invitation-only luncheon include WMC Director Carol Jenkins and AWFJ member Carrie Rickey, who initiated the project.

AWFJ, Inc. is a non-profit nationwide organization of 27 professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers, working in print, broadcast and online media, who’ve come together to support work by and about women, in front of and behind the camera. AWFJ conducts outreach programs, intra-group promotional activities and presents the annual EDA Awards, in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (both the best and the worst) by and about women in film.

For further information about the AWFJ Top 100 List, please contact us at

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association in the Film, Documentary and TV branches and a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).