AWFJ Presents EDA Awards @ POV’s 25th Anniversary Retrospective – report by Jennifer Merin

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, an international organization of leading professionals, was honored to recognize POV’s exemplary support of female filmmakers by presenting EDA Awards marking POV’s 25th Anniversary Retrospective, curated by the Museum of Modern Art.

Fourteen female-directed films in the retrospective were our shortlist. They were inspiring, and presented us with a huge challenge – because they all deserve awards.

To recognize POV’s longevity, influence and extraordinary scope our AWFJ jury members – Sara Voorhees from KOB-TV in Alburquerque, the Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Leba Hertz, Susan Wlozczycna of USA Today and I from Documentaries At — decided to present THREE EDA Awards.

First an EDA Special Mention was awarded to Deborah Hoffman for COMPLAINTS OF A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER. Aired in 1994, it is an autobiographical documentary in which Hoffman explores her relationship with her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. (Deborah isn’t here. Cynthia Lopez please accept on her behalf.

Next, the EDA for Documentary Impact goes to Pamela Yates for GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR. The film, based on decades of work, aired on POV last year. This year it was used as evidence in the trial against Guatemala’s vicious dictator Efrain Rios Montt for Crimes Against Humanity. We commended Pamela Yates for making a film that has actually changed the course of history.

Last but not least, our EDA for Best Female-Directed Film goes to Heather Courtney for WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, which aired in 2011. It is the heartbreaking chronicle of young soldiers from America’s heartland who’ve been traumatized on the battlefields of Afghanistan. We commended Heather Courtney for making a film that illuminates the impact of war on the young citizens who fight in their country’s name.

AWFJ extends congradulations to POV on the launch of season 26, and to all the AWFJ EDA Award winners.

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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).