AWFJ News: EDA Awards @ Salem Film Fest 2014

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is set to present juried EDA Awards at Salem Film Fest for the third consecutive year, focusing attention on nine nominated female-directed films in the festival’s program and honoring the best of the lot. Read on….

Salem Film Fest, a superb documentaries-only festival in Salem, Massachusetts, has an excellent record for programming a high percentage of female-directed films. The 2014 program features nine films directed exclusively by women, nine films co-directed by a woman and a man, and one film co-directed by two women. Nominations for EDA Award consideration were made by the festival programmers.

This year, there are nine nominated films, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Derby Crazy Love – directed by Maya Gallus & Justine Pimlott
  • Everybody Street – directed by Cheryl Dunn
  • A Fragile Trust – directed by Samantha Grant
  • The Galapagos Affair – directed by Dayna Goldfine and Daniel Geller
  • Here Was Cuba – directed by Emer Reynolds & John Murray
  • Powerless – directed by Deepti Kakkar & Fahad Mustafa
  • Rich Hill – directed by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo
  • Uranium Drive-In – directed by Suzan Beraza
  • Watermark – directed by Jennifer Baichwal & Edward Burtynsky

The jury for the EDA Awards is made up of AWFJ members. This year’s panel for the AWFJ EDA Awards @ Salem Film includes (in alphabetical order) Monika Bartyzel, Cynthia Fuchs, Sheila Roberts, Diana Saenger, Erin Trahan (alternate juror) and Sara Vizcarrondo. Jennifer Merin is serving as the non-voting Jury Chair.

The 2014 Salem Film Fest takes place from March 6 to 13. Past winners of EDA Awards @ Salem Film Fest include Carole Morley’s Dreams of A Life, Sasha Friedlander’s Where Heaven Meets Hell, Bobbie Birleffi & Beverly Kopf’s Wish Me Away and Vivian Ducat’s All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert.

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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).