AWFJ To Present EDA Award at Salem Film Fest

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) is pleased to announce that we will present a juried EDA Award for the Best Female-Directed Film at the 2012 Salem Film Fest.

The jury for the EDA Award includes AWFJ members Cynthia Fuchs (, Jennifer Merin ( and Womens eNews), Erin Trahan (The Independent), Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today) and Jeanne Wolf ( and PARADE Magazine).

All jurors participated in the nominating process, selecting from all female-directed films programmed at the festival, the five following titles as EDA Award nominees:

  • IN HEAVEN, UNDERGROUND – Drector: Britta Wauer
  • SKYDANCER – Director: Katja Esson
  • WE STILL LIVE HERE: AS NUTAYUNEAN – Director: Anne Makepeace
  • WISH ME AWAY – Directors: Bobbie Birleffi & Beverly Kopf

The EDA Award winner will be announced and the award presented on Saturday March 3, at 1:30 pm, during an AWFJ-facilitated panel discussion about “How does media cover documentary film?.” Salem Film Fest takes place from March 1-8, 2012, in Salem, MA.

AWFJ commends Salem Film Fest selection committee for its high ratio of female-directed films and for helping to facilitate this award process. AWFJ thanks the qualifying filmmakers and distributors for submitting their films for consideration, and our jury members for their participation in presenting this AWFJ EDA Award.

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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).