For the seventh consecutive year, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists has had 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 the 2019 festival, held in Whistler from December 4 to 8, 2019.
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, various mentoring programs and partnerships with AWFJ and other organizations.
This year, WFF’s program of 85 films included 50 features and 35 shorts representing 12 countries. 46% of the scheduled films were directed by women, a statistic proudly announced by WFF programmer Paul Gratton.
The festival nominated seven films to be considered for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature, and ten films for Best Female-Directed Short. AWFJ jurors voted for the winners, which were announced at the WFF Awards ceremony on December 8. And the winners are:
BEST FEMALE-DIRECTED FEATURE – Tie
- ANTIGONE– Directed by Sophie Deraspe
AWFJ Jury statement: A brave, intelligent and deeply moving film, as contemporary as it is timeless, Antigone is both a tribute to the recent real-world events that inspired it, and a powerful reminder of why the classics endure through insightful, creative adaptations such as this.
- LIBERTE: A CALL TO SPY– Directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher
AWFJ Jury Statement: Liberte: A Call to Spy deserves a medal for passing the Bechdel test with flying colors while being a taut and tensely told World War II thriller that focuses on two real-life female agents and their overseer, another highly capable woman forced to conceal her Jewish heritage. There is no need for overtly feminist flag-waving as the film wisely prefers to show rather than tell about the heroism and sacrifice of these ladies dedicated to preserving the free world from the insidious evil unleashed by Hitler.
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
- PANDORA’S BOX – Directed by Rebecca Snow
AWFJ Jury Statement: From its cheeky title to its unrelenting (and deserving) criticism of modern society’s continuing contempt toward women, Rebecca Snow’s Pandora’s Box dares to confront the myriad, retrograde attitudes toward menstruation in virtually every corner of the world, from underdeveloped nations to our own supposedly enlightened realms. The doc gives new meaning to the term “Scarlet Letter,” in this case, awesome, for affirming the importance of womanhood.
BEST FEMALE-DIRECTED SHORT
- EXAM – Directed by Sonia K. Hadad
AWFJ Jury Statement: Heartbreaking and relevant, this powerful film focuses on a young girl who’s put in a challenging position by an older man in her life. Forced to grow up quickly, she learns she can only count on herself, and her determination is empowering.
You will find the complete list of films nominated for AWFJ EDA Awards at Whistler Film Festival 2019 and the roster of AWFJ Jurors in our EDA Awards @ Whistler Film Festival 2019 announcement.
ABOUT THE AWFJ EDA AWARDS FESTIVAL PROGRAM
AWFJ has presented EDA Awards at Edinburgh International Film Festival, Salem Film Fest, Sheffield Doc/Fest. DOXA 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.