EDA Awards @ Tallgrass Film Festival 2023 – 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 21st edition, held in Wichita, Kansas from October 5 to 8, 2023. This is the third 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.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, with Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore

Back in 2017, a CableTV survey about horror movies revealed, among other things, that the average age at which the (presumably adult) respondents saw their first horror movie was 7.2 years old. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s kids are in the same boat, we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies. What is the level of fear they experience during these movies and how does onscreen blood and gore influence their social expectations.?

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

Research shows that, on average, kids see horror movies as young as 7 years old. And we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies — in fact, when my daughter was in the second grade, she had multiple classmates who’d seen “It.” It’s not realistic to expect that we can shield kids from scary or gory content forever. And, in fact, it can be counterproductive to prevent children from seeing any kind of conflict, loss, or trauma on screen. Far better to use these moments, when they come, as opportunities to help them through hard stuff in a safe place.

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SPOTLIGHT September 2021: Jane Campion, feminist filmmaker, Dame Companion and Lumiere Honoree

Jane Campion has furthered the cause of women in film by holding steady to her own extraordinary aesthetic, unique career choices and creation of dazzling visual poetry. Throughout her career, her feminist approach to filmmaking has been expressed in her distinctive vision and directorial style, and in her consistent creation of strong, complex and fully fleshed out female characters who rank among the finest, most compelling in film history.

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Women’s History Month Watch List: REAL REEL WOMEN

Throughout cinema history, films by and about women have enthralled audiences, accrued awards and honors worldwide and scored at the box office while influencing out social social mores and enriching our cultural conversation. Although some Hollywood honchos and haters assert that female-centric movies are less likely to be commercial successes, our list proves them wrong. Movies that tell women’s stories have legs. Released to celebrate Women’s History Month, AWFJ’s REAL REEL WOMEN List is an annotated roster of 50 fascinating real women whose remarkable true stories have been told in narrative features since the earliest days of moviemaking.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

Research shows that, on average, kids see horror movies as young as 7 years old. And we’ve all noticed members of the PG crowd at decidedly R-rated movies — in fact, when my daughter was in the second grade, she had multiple classmates who’d seen “It.” And that’s a problem. While research indicates that media violence doesn’t directly make kids who are exposed to it more aggressive, some studies do suggest that, combined with other risk factors — including things like substance abuse and conflict at home — media violence can contribute to violent behavior.

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AWFJ’s Take on TIFF19 – An Index to AWFJ Members’ Coverage

With the Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ special focus on women’s representation in the industry and at highlighted industry events, we’re keen on presenting AWFJ members’ coverage of TIFF19. Seventeen AWFJ members were credentialed by TIFF this year. And, kudos to Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Loren King, Sarah Knight Adamson, Julide Tanriverdi, Brandy McDonnell and Lauren Bradshaw for their TIFF-related contributions to AWFJ.org. Read their brilliant commentaries…

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Memphis Film Prize 2019 Wrap – Sarah Knight Adamson reports

The Memphis Film Prize is a uniquely creative showcase for emerging talent. Filmmakers from across the country submit short films — five to fifteen minutes long — for a cash prize of $10,000. The main requirement is that the films be shot in Shelby County, Tenn. Ten films selected for the competition are screened for audiences and judges in August, and a winner is chosen. The goal of the festival is to compensate creativity, allowing filmmakers to keep their creative work moving forward. I was one of three AWFJ members on the 2019 jury.

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For Agnes Varda: A Memorial Tribute and Celebration

RIP Agnes Varda. You have left the mortal realm of moviemakers, but your films, curiosity, love of life and feminism are still guiding lights for audiences who believe that movies matter. The Alliance of Women Film Critics honors your memory with this collective tribute of articles and reviews by members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

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Horror Movies and Kids: A Scary Combination — Betsy Bozdech, Brandy McDonnell, Jennifer Merin, Nell Minow and Liz Whittemore comment

It’s not realistic to expect that we can shield kids from scary or gory content forever. And, in fact, it can be counterproductive to prevent children from seeing any kind of conflict, loss, or trauma on screen. Far better to use these moments, when they come, as opportunities to help them through hard stuff in a safe place. Continue reading…

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