AWFJ Presents EDA Awards at Tallgrass Film Festival 2022 – Jennifer Merin reports

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The Alliance of Women film Journalists is partnering with Tallgrass Film Festival to present EDA Awards for Best Female Directed Films at the festival’s 20th edition, taking place in Wichita, Kansas from September 28 to October 2, 2022. This is the second consecutive year of the partnership.

With “Stubbornly Independent” as its motto, Tallgrass Film Festival, one of the nation’s leading regional film festivals, founded in 2003, aims to foster an appreciation of the cinematic arts by creating shared experiences around the international medium of film. Women in film are high priority on the festival’s agenda and the program presents a high percentage of female-directed films.

This year, AWFJ will present EDA Awards in two categories:

  • Best Female-Directed Feature Film (Narrative or Documentary)
  • Best Female-Directed Short Film(Narrative or Documentary)

Two jury panels of AWFJ members will select the winners from films nominated by the festival, including four narrative films and ten short films. AWFJ’s features jury includes

  • Jamie Broadnax
  • Jennifer Merin
  • (Chair)

  • Jeanne Wolf

    AWFJ’s shorts jury includes

  • Tara Karajica
  • Brandy McDonnell
  • (Chair)

  • Kristen Page-Kirby
  • The AWFJ EDA Award winners will be announced and awards presented to their worthy winners at the Tallgrass Film Festival’s awards ceremony. Stay tuned for more information leading up to the event.

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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).