AWFJ to Present EDA Awards at Whistler Film Festival — Jennifer Merin reports

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whistler-2016This is the fourth consecutive year in which the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has the honor to partner with Whistler Film Festival to recognize women filmmakers with presentation of EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature Film and Best Female-Directed Documentary at this year’s festival, held in Whistler from November 30 to December 4, 2016. Whistler Film Festival nominates narrative features and documentaries for consideration. Selected by AWFJ jurors, the winners will be announced on December 4, at the Whistler Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Read on…


For 2016, the festival nominated six films for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature. They are all from Canadian directors. The titles are (in alphabetical order):

  • Anatomy of Violence – Directed by Deepa Mehta
  • Before the Streets – Directed by Chloé Leriche
  • The Death (and Life of Carl Naardlinger – Directed by Katherine Schlemmer
  • Hunting Pignut – Directed by Martine Blue
  • The Space Between — Directed by Amy Jo Johnson
  • The Sun at Midnight – Directed byKirsten Carthew

The EDA Awards jury for narrative films includes Marina Antunes, Katherine Brodsky (Chair), Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Laura Emerick and Julide Tanriverdi.


The seven nominated documentaries include (in alphabetical order):

  • Between – Directed by Sandra Lahnsteiner – Austria
  • Broken – Directed by Lynne Spencer – Canada
  • Going Further – Directed by Lindsay Kent, Matt Pidutti, Lindsay Kent, Colby Rex O’neill – Canada/USA
  • Melody Makers, Should’ve Been There – Directed by Leslie Ann Coles – Canada
  • Mr. Zaritsky on TV – Directed by Jennifer Di Cresce and Michael Savoie – Canada/UK/Germany/Italy
  • Sled Dogs – Directed by Fern Levitt – Canada
  • The Will to Fly – Directed by Katie Bender and Leo Baker – Australia

The EDA Awards jury for documentaries consists of Cynthia Fuchs, Leba Hertz, Jennifer Merin (chair), Katherine Monk and Dorothy Woodend.

For full descriptions of the nominated films and an overview of Whistler Film Festival’s program, visit the Whistler Film Festival Website.


AWFJ’s EDA Awards festival program for 2016 included presentation of the Best Female-Directed Documentary Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary Short at DOXA Film Festival in Vancouver in May and IDFA in November. AWFJ has presented EDA Awards at Edinburgh International Film Festival, Salem Film Fest, Sheffield Doc/Fest and St. Louis International Film Festival, among others. EDA Awards were also presented for POVs Twentieth Anniversary Celebration at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. For more information about AWFJ and/or the EDA Awards, contact Jennifer Merin at

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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).