AWFJ Announces New Members and Advisors

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is delighted to welcome fifteen outstanding women film journalists as new AWFJ members. They are , in alphabetical order:

  • Amy Benfer, New York – Metro NY
  • Laura Emerick, Chicago – Chicago Sun Times
  • Nikki Finke, Los Angeles – LA Weekly/
  • Mihal Gartengerg, New York – WKCR/NY1
  • Esther Iverem, Washington, DC –
  • MaryAnn Johanson, New York –
  • Karen Martin, Little Rock – Arkansas Democrat Gazette
  • Brandy McDonnell, Oklahoma City – The Oklahoman
  • Nell Minow, Washington DC –
  • Katherine Monk, Vancouver BC – Can West News Service
  • Michelle Orange, New York – Village Voice
  • Betsy Pickle, Knoxville – Knoxville Sentinel/Scripps Howard News Service
  • Amy Taubin, New York – Film Comment/Sight and Sound
  • Erin Trahan, Boston – The Independent/New England
  • Sara Voorhees, Albuquerque – KOB-TV

The three new AWFJ Board of Advisors members are:

  • Sally Berger – Curator, Film Department, Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Carol Jenkins – Director, Women’s Media Center, New York
  • Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, PhD. – Director, Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television at San Diego State University. San Diego

For biographical information about new members please click on their names in the members roster on the right hand side of the screen.

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc. (AWFJ), a not-for-profit corporation, is an association of professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media, dedicated to supporting work by and about women–both in front of and behind the cameras–through intra-group promotional activities, outreach programs and by presenting awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (the best and worst) by and about women in the movies.

For additional information about AWFJ, contact Jennifer Merin 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).