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

For the ninth 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.

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AWFJ EDA Awards @ Tallgrass Film Fest: The Winners – Jennifer Merin reports

The Alliance of Women film Journalists partnered with Tallgrass Film Festival to present EDA Awards for Best Female Directed Films at the festival’s 19th edition, held in Wichita, Kansas from October 20 – 24, 2921. One of the nation’s leading regional film festivals, Tallgrass Film Festival dubs itself as stubbornly independent and 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. This year, the festival presented 44 features and 128 shorts for in-person screenings.

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WHEN MEN WERE MEN (Austin Film Fest) – Review by Diane Carson

Co-writer/co-director Aidan Dick plays Egan; co-writer/co-director Izzi Rojas takes on the central Kieran role. The heartfelt commitment to this project produces some convincing, empathetic moments. It’s a familiar, even at times clichéd, message but one still critically important to those who are transgender and all who do, as all should, support them. With an estimated budget of $25,000 (imdb listing), what is accomplished is impressive.

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EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED TO TELL MY DAUGHTER ABOUT MEN (Austin Film Fest 2021) – Review by Diane Carson

Cleverly organized and powerfully presented, Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men uses a sequence of eight therapy sessions to unravel and reveal multiple loves reflecting the complex emotional problems of the central character, called The Woman. Interweaving flashbacks to the succession of demanding, destructive men in her past, The Women’s searing honesty yields to several explicit lessons and session descriptions, both listed in text on screen.

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NYFF 2021 Women Under the Radar – Margaret Barton-Fumo reports

Looking back on this year’s New York Film Festival, a number of women-directed features stand out among the best of the fest. Jane Campion, Julia Ducournau and Joanna Hogg were just a few of the Main Slate directors who garnered much (warranted) attention with critically acclaimed films that lived up to their high expectations. Other films by new directors, though not as anticipated, exhibited great promise.

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AWFJ @ Middleburg Film Festival – Sandie Angulo Chen reports

The ninth year of the Middleburg Film Festival brought back the fest’s in-person programming in Virginia horse country. Founded by Sheila Johnson and run by executive director Susan Koch, the four-day festival continues to feature an impressive slate of diverse and thoughtfully-curated narrative and documentary feature films (34 this year).

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POSER (Nightstream Fest 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

As a world building exercise, Poser is deeply ensconced in the Columbus indie music scene, which is brought to life here in a variety of ways, including casting significant scene luminaries such as Bobbi Kitten. But this is no navel-gazing, regional subcultural circle jerk; sometimes dark, frequently self-depreciative and often dryly funny, there is a sad, bleak heart to Poser that is where its ultimate impact is contained.

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COSMIC DAWN (Nightstream Fest 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Jefferson Moneo’s Cosmic Dawn is far from the typical terrain of UFO conspiracy films as can be imagined – this is no X-Files fanfic and is all the stronger for it. This is largely informed by Moneo’s own experience with an alien encounter as a child, which – for sceptics and believers alike – undeniably manifests in the film in a sincerity and a sense of intimacy that films and television shows dealing with this subject so often miss.

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TO THE MOON (Nightstream Fest 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Running just over 80 minutes in length, To the Moon is a lithe, powerful little film written, directed and co-starring Friend and currently playing at the Nightstream virtual film festival. Set in one location with a key cast of only three characters, it uses its slender production context to great effect, granting each of the three central players enormous scope to flesh out their characters.

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