Women On Film – Women directors on AFI’s Best 100 Films List: ZERO – Jennifer Merin reports

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The results are in and, not surprising to AWFJ, not one of the films named on AFI’s Best 100 Films List is directed by a women.

“The films themselves are boy-centric, and the only ones that are women driven (after The Wizard of Oz) include: Sunset Blvd; All About Eve; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (give me a break); The Sound of Music; and Sophie’s Choice.” writes Melissa Silverstein on the Huffington Post.

“There is more gender parity when it comes to actors and actresses represented,” comments Philadelphia Inquirer film critic, Carrie Rickey, noting that Katherine Hepburn, Faye Dunaway and Diane Keaton are represented by three or more films, as are Robert De Niro and Jimmy Stewart.

As counterpoint to AFI’s Best 100 Films List, Rickey, an AWFJ member, initiated AWFJ’s Top 100 Films List, nominations for which were made by AWFJ members, who were not given directives to concentrate on films made by and/or about women, nor to select only American-made movies.

AWFJ’s Top 100 Films list will be revealed and posted on this site on June 25. As a tease: there are 22 films that coincide on the AFI and AWFJ lists, but the AWFJ list includes many more fem helmed films.

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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 About.com. 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).