AWFJ Set to Present EDA Awards at Whistler Film Festival 2018 – Jennifer Merin reports

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This is the sixth 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 Short at this year’s festival, held in Whistler from November 28 to December 2, 2018.

Under the guidance of Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw, Whistler Film Festival has consistently opened the doors of opportunity for female filmmakers through its programming of films and various mentoring programs.

This year’s program of 85 films includes 50 features and 35 shorts representing 12 countries. 46% of the scheduled films are directed by women. The festival nominates the films to be considered for EDA Awards. The EDA Award jurors are members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. The EDA Award winners will be announced on December 2, at the Whistler Film Festival Awards Ceremony.


For 2018, the festival nominated eight films for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature. In alphabetical order, the titles are:

  • A Colony (Une Colonie) – Directed by Geneviève Dulude De Celles
  • Birds Without Feathers – Directed by Wendy McColm
  • Circle of Steel – Directed by Gillian McKercher
  • Family First – Directed by Sophie Dupuis
  • Girls of the Sun — Directed by Eva Husson
  • Honey Bee – Directed by Rama Rau
  • In God I Trust – Directed by Maja Zdanowski
  • Sashinka – Directed by Kristina Wagenbauer

The EDA Awards jury for narrative films includes


The festival has nominated ten female-directed shorts for the EDA Award. In alphabetical order,they are:

  • Brotherhood – Directed by Meryam Joobeur
  • Cedar Tree of Life – Directed by Odessa Shuquaya
  • Egg – Directed by Martina Scarpelli
  • Emptying the Tank – Directed by Caroline Monnet
  • Hunting Season – Directed by Shannon Kholi
  • Little Waves – Directed by Ariane Louis-Seize
  • Lunar Orbit Rendezvous – Directed by Mélanie Charbonneau
  • Miss World – Directed by Georgia Fu
  • The Field – Directed by Sandhya Suri
  • Three CentimetersDirected by Lara Zeidan</li>

The EDA Awards jury for shorts includes

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).