AWFJ is completing our tenth anniversary year, and it’s time to take stock and evolve. What has our organization accomplished during 2016, and what are our goals for 2017. But as we look back to evaluate our accomplishments and before we set forth plans for a new year filled with worthwhile projects, let’s pause for a moment to give due credit to the AWFJ members who’ve contributed their ideas, time and energy to make our 2016 programs and enterprises so successful. Well done! And here’s round of applause and a virtual pat on the back to each of you in recognition of your collegiality and activism. Now on to the nitty gritty about what AWFJ has done curing 2016, with shout outs to individual members who helmed projects and made them happen. Read on…
AWFJ’s EDA Awards:
- Our tenth anniversary year end EDA Awards were a highlight for 2016, especially because our results reflected AWFJ’s fundamental commitment to the goals of gender parity and diversity. All active AWFJ members nominate and vote for the year end awards. We also did quite well with news coverage of the 2016 EDAs, thanks in large measure to primo publicist David Magdael who helped us spread the word.
- EDA @ DOXA — AWFJ presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at DOXA Film Festival in Vancouver in May. This was the first time AWFJ attended DOXA/ Thanks to jurors
Cynthia Fuchs, Jennifer Merin, Katherine Monk, Janice Page and Diana Saenger.
- EDA @ IDFA — AWFJ presented the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary at IDFA in Amsterdam in November. This was our third consecutive year at IDFA and the first time our EDA Award included a cash prize of 2,500 Euros. Jurors were Jennifer Merin, Julide Tanriverdi and Dorothy Woodend.
- EDA @ Whistler Film Festival — AWFJ presented EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary for the fourth consecutive year at Whistler Film Festival in Whistler, Canada in November-December. Jurors on the Narrative panel were Marina Antunes, Katherine Brodsky (Chair), Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Laura Emerick and Julide Tanriverdi. Jurors on the Documentary panel were Cynthia Fuchs, Leba Hertz, Jennifer Merin (chair), Katherine Monk and Dorothy Woodend.
AWFJ’s WONDER WOMEN
To celebrate our tenth anniversary and out of our concerns about negative representations of women on the big screen, AWFJ compiled and published our Wonder Women List: 55 Best Fictional Female Characters, representing a legion of strong and fully realized fictional female characters who’ve populated the silver screen from cinema’s inception to the present. Our Wonder Women run the gamut from girls to grandmothers, they have careers and children, are survivors—of violence, crime, war, discrimination. They’re hellcats and hell raisers. Collectively they represent women’s issues and values. They’re not all good girls, but they are women you’d like your daughters to know. Marilyn Ferdinand helmed the project. Individual characters were annotated by Thelma Adams, Marina Antunes, Linda Barnard, Liz Braun, Anne Brodie, Carol Cling, Laura Emerick, Marilyn Ferdinand, Candice Frederick, Susan Granger, MaryAnn Johanson, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Rebecca Murray, Betsy Pickle, Lynn Venhaus, Liz Whittemore, Susan Wloszczyna.
Our Website at AWFJ.org
Throughout 2016, we maintained individual member blogs including Brandy McDonnell‘s The Week in Women, Jennifer Merin’s Cinema Citizen, Martha P. Nochimson‘s Eye on Media and Liz Whittemore’s I Scream You Scream. We continued to post reviews and review links as sent to us by AWFJ members, and presented two regular AWFJ.org features:
- Movie of the Week (MOTW), which was edited by Sandra Kraisirideja, written by Nikki Baughan and Dorothy Woodend, with contributions from MOTW panelists Thelma Adams, Anne Brodie, Candice Frederick, Pam Grady, Leba Hertz, Loren King, Cate Marquis, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow, Perri Nemiroff, Liz Whittemore, Jeanne Wolf
- SPOTLIGHT, a monthly feature focusing on a woman in the film industry whose accomplishments are newsworthy. Written by Pam Grady, Jennifer Merin, Rebecca Murray and Julide Tanriverdi. Featured players in this year’s SPOTLIGHT have included (in alphabetical order) Maren Ade, Margot Benacerref, Bonni Cohen, Emayatze Cornealdi, Ally Derks, Vera Farmiga, Meera Menon, Rachel Rosen, Margaret Sixel, Agnieszka Smoczyńska, Susanna White.
AWFJ is hosting and monitoring THE FEMALE GAZE FORUM, a public page on Facebook which is open to postings by its 3,700+ members and any non-member who wishes to stimulate awareness and discussion about issues related to women working in film. THE FEMALE GAZE FORUM has links to the Alliance of Women Filmmakers, Women in Film and Television, NYWIFT Writers Group and other similarly focused Facebook Groups. If you have not joined THE FEMALE GAZE FORUM, please do so at http://on.fb.me/1pC5sc9. And please encourage others to join, too. We are building a community. Our goal is to heighten awareness of issues, solutions an projects pertaining to women working in film, and to spread word about AWFJ, who we are and what we do. Membership at THE FEMALE GAZE FORUM grows daily.
EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE
Throughout 2016, AWFJ has been honored by and privileged to have the invaluable support of our members and so many extraordinary opportunities to partner with different organizations and individuals to make progress and strive to reach our goals. Sincerest thanks to all. We look forward to continued collaborations in 2017, always pushing the envelope on gender parity and diversity in the realm of cinema and beyond.