AWFJ’s 2020 EDA Award Nominees – Jennifer Merin reports

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists announces the nominees for the 2020 AWFJ EDA Awards in 25 categories, divided into three sections: the standard “Best Of” section, the “Female Focus” awards and the irreverent “EDA Special Mention” awards – including the She Deserves a New Agent Award and the AWFJ Hall of Shame Award. In AWFJ’s fourteenth annual EDA Awards season, nominations are dominated by three femme-helmed films.

This year’s most nominated film is Nomadland, garnering nine EDA nominations for Best Film, Best Director, Best Woman Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Woman Screenwriter and Best Editing for Chloe Zhao; Best Cinematography; and Best Actress, Grand Dame Award, and Most Daring Performance Award for Frances McDormand.

Regina King’s highly regarded One Night in Miami is honored with eight nominations in the “Best Of,” “Female Focus,” and “EDA Special Mention” categories, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Woman Director.

Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman has six nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Carey Mulligan, Best Woman Director, and Best Woman Screenwriter.

Additionally, Fennell is nominated for this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award, along with Sophia Loren for her brilliant comeback and all of the Female Film Festival Directors who successfully transitioned from live to online events.

Representing women film critics’ perspectives on the world’s constantly evolving cinema scene, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ 2020 EDA Awards nominees genuinely reflect the movie industry’s advances in the cause of equality and diversity.

The EDA Awards always honor the year’s best films regardless of gender, but in 2020 three female-directed films have emerged as AWFJ’s most nominated films. Even better, two of these and several other multi-nominated films tell stories centering on strong and complex female characters from diverse backgrounds.

All in all, 2020 saw a bumper crop of female-directed and female-centered films that reached widespread audiences via online releases. From AWFJ’s point of view, that’s one ray of sunlight that has shown through this year’s pandemic darkness. Hopefully that trend will continue as the nation heals from its various ailments.

For the complete list of 2020 EDA Award nominees, click here.

AWFJ’s 2020 EDA Awards winners will be announced on January 4, 2021.

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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).