STRAY DOG Wins EDA Award @ Salem Film Fest 2015 – Jennifer Merin reports

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Filmmakers Debra Granik and Tory Stewart were awarded the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at Salem Film Fest for Stray Dog, while Catherine Gund’s BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs Gravity was given an EDA Award Special Mention for Documentary Artistry.

Liz Whittenore, Jennifer Merin, Debra Granik, Tory Stewart
Liz Whittenore, Jennifer Merin, Debra Granik, Tory Stewart

For the fourth consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has partnered with Salem Film Fest (March 5 to 12, 2015) to present the juried AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film and to moderate Filmmaker Forum panels. Read on…

EDA AWARDS @ SFF 2015

salemfilmfest2015logo200Salem Film Fest programmers nominated six superb female-directed films for EDA Award consideration by a panel made up exclusively of Alliance of Women Film Journalists members. After viewing the films and one round of balloting, the six-member AWFJ jury selected Stray Dog, directed by Debra Granik and produced by Tory Stewart as the winner of the AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film at Salem Film Fest 2015.

JURY NOTES ON STRAY DOG

awfj2015edasffbestsmallIn awarding the EDA to Stray Dog, the jury opined: “It took a while for Debra Granik to follow her amazing Winter’s Bone but the wait was worth it. In this sweetly sad, funny and always honest documentary, she encompasses everything about the “other Americas” that rarely makes it to screens small or silver. Her clear-hearted lens frames an expensive, yet deeply humanistic portrait of American decline through the personae of Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, a Vietnam Vet on the road to both commemorate and escape his past. Stay Dog is American to the bone, embodying the best of the US spirit of generosity, openness and empathy.”

SPECIAL MENTION

Additionally, the jury awarded a Special Mention for Documentary Artistry to Catherine Gund’s BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs Gravity.

awfj2015edasffsepcialsmallThe jury’s notes cite that “the documentary an awe inspiring tribute to a great artist who creates her own genre of dance, impactful movement, and who, with a company of like-minded and extraordinarily dedicated and gifted artists defies the preconceived and earth-bound elitism of the dance world. The film gives us a chance to see how Elizabeth Streb’s work has impacted modern dance, influencing the physical expressions of a wide range of artists including Trisha Brown and Off-Broadway’s Fuerza Bruta. The documentary is visually breathtaking, with exciting cinematography that takes you inside the movement while allowing you to observe it.”

OTHER NOMINATED FILMS

awfjedalaurelaffnom2015My Brother’s Vows, Directed by Stephanie Weimar; The Optimists, Directed by Gunhild Magnor; Songs for Alexis, Directed by Elvira Lind; Waiting for August, directed by Teodora Mihai.

The EDA Award jury is comprised exclusively of AWFJ members. On the 2015 EDA Awards @ SFF Jury are Nikki Baughan, Cate Marquis, Lisa Rosman, Elizabeth Wittemore and Dorothy Woodend, with Jennifer Merin serving as Jury Chair.

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