AWFJ @ Whistler Film Fest: Jurors and Nominated Films Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

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For the eleventh 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 2021 festival, held in person from December 1 to 5, and online through December 31, 2021.

AWFJ applauds Whistler Film Festival for it’s excellent record of programming of female-directed films, and for consistently opened the doors of opportunity for female filmmakers through its programming of films, various mentoring programs and partnerships with AWFJ and other organizations.

For this year, the festival programmers nominated five films to be considered for this year’s EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature, four films for consideration for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary and ten films for Best Female-Directed Short. AWFJ jurors for each category have received screeners and will vote for the winners, which will be announced at the WFF Awards virtual ceremony. Kudos to this year’s jurors:

JURY: EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature

    Liz Braun, Toronto
    Sandie Angulo Chen, Washington DC
    Tara Karajica, Belgrade
    Jennifer Merin (Chair), New York

Films Nominated for Best Female-Directed Film

JURY: EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Documentary

    Ulkar Alakbarova, Toronto
    Leba Hertz, San Francisco
    Karen Martin (Chair), Little Rock
    Tara McNamara, Los Angeles

Films Nominated for Best Female-Directed Documentary

JURY: EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short

    Marina Antunes (Chair), Vancouver
    Betsy Bozdech, San Francisco
    Marilyn Ferdinand, Chicago
    Kathia Woods, Philadelphia

Films Nominated for Best Female-Directed Short

Stay tuned for the winners!

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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).