AWFJ is Heading for Whistler Film Festival, Nov 29- Dec 3 — Jennifer Merin reports

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whistler logo 2017The Alliance of Women Film Journalists will present two juried EDA Awards for the Best Female-Directed Feature and Short Films at this year’s Whistler Film Festival (WFF) taking place from November 29 to December 3. This is the fourth consecutive year in which AWFJ has partnered with the Whistler Film Festival to honor the work of female directors whose films are being presented. Continue reading…


Whistler Film Festival, known as ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’, has been championing women in film since its inception in 2001. In addition to programming films directed by women, the festival holds an annual Women on Top event, gathering leading women in film from around the world to meet, greet and network with each other. Additionally, the festival’s annual presentation of Women In the Director’s Chair and Women in Film & Television Vancouver mentorship programs connect up and coming female film directors to industry moguls and the methodology they recommend for success.

For WFF’s 2017 edition, AWFJ will present two EDA Awards, one for Best Female-Directed Feature, and the other for Best Female-Directed Short. The films in competition are to be nominated by Whistler Film Festival programmers, and will voted on by AWFJ jurors.


This year, the AWFJ jurors for Best Female-Directed Feature are:
Marina Antunes – Row Three, Vancouver
Nikki Baughan – Screen International, London
Betsy Boszdech – Commonsense Media, San Francisco
Jennifer Merin (Chair) – Cinema Citizen, New York
Gill Pringle – The Independent, Los Angeles

The AWFJ jurors for Best Female-Directed Short are:
Katherine Brodsky (Chair) – Variety, Vancouver
Lexi Feinberg – Big Picture, Big Sound, Berkeley
Karen Martin – Arkansas Online – Little Rock
Diana Saenger – East County Gazette – San Diego
Susan Wloszczyna – – Washington, DC.


The Whistler Film Festival will announce its full lineup of films on November 1, at which time the AWFJ will make an announcement on the EDA Award nominees. For more information on WFF, go to

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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).