AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing October 7 and 9, 2009

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AWFJ highlights films made by and about women:

Wednesday, October 7

  • Araya – Milestone Films, 90 mins. (limited) – Director Margot Benacerraf shared the 1959 Cannes Film Festival Palm d’Or with Alain Renais’ Hiroshima Mon Amor for her poetic and beautifully shot docudrama about salt miners in Araya, the stark and remote peninsula in northeastern Venezuela. Milestone Films has restored the film and is releasing it theatrically for the first time in the U.S.

Friday, October 9

  • Bronson – Magnet Releasing 92 mins. (limited)
  • Couples Retreat – Universal Pictures 107 mins.
  • The Damned United – Sony Classics, 97 mins. (NY, LA) –
  • An Education – Sony Classics 95 mins. (limited) – Danish director Lone Scherfig’s film based on Lynn Barber’s memoir stars Carey Mulligan as a smart and beautiful sixteen-year-old English schoolgirl who abandons her college plans to take up with a much older, very high-living man (Peter Sarsgaard) — with the blessings of her socially-climbing parents.
  • Free Style – Samuel Goldwyn, 94 mins. (limited)
  • Good Hair -Roadside Attractions, 95 mins. (limited) – In this dicumentary, director Jeff Stilson follows comedian Chris Rock as he travels from New York to Atlanta to India, investigating and commenting about African American women’s complexes about their hair, and about the billion dollar industry that thrives from their desire to straighten and manage it.
  • Peter and Vandy – Strand Releasing, 95 mins. (limited)
  • Trucker – Michelle Monaghan stars as an idependent truck driver whose life is filled with long haul drives and one night stands until her estranged 11-year-old son comes to live with her.
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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).

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