SPOTLIGHT December 2020: Eda Reiss Merin, Actress, Activist and inspiration for AWFJ’s EDA Awards

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Awards, presented annually during awards season and at various festivals during the year, are currently in their 14th year, and are well known to the film industry for categories honoring female filmmakers, along with the more general award categories that are presented by the Academy and other movie awards organizations. The EDA Awards are well known, but many industry people — including some who’ve received them — don’t know much about their name. Why EDA? Since December sees AWFJ in full awards season activism, this is a good time to share the EDA story. Hence our December SPOTLIGHT is focused on actress and activist Eda Reiss Merin.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Yara Shahidi to Take Flight as Tinkerbell – Brandy McDonnell reports

Yara Shahidi is preparing to take flight, playing Tinkerbell in an upcoming Disney live-action film, Peter Pan and Wendy, based on Disney’s original animated classic, Peter Pan. Shahidi will join Jude Law (the Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic Beasts series), who will play Captain Hook; Alexander Molony (the British TV series The Reluctant Landlord, who has been cast as Peter; and Ever Anderson (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the upcoming Black Widow), who will star as Wendy

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THE MANDALORIAN – Review by Susan Granger

The second season of Jon Favreau’s blockbuster live-action Disney+ series, a sci-fi spin-off from George Lucas’ Star Wars, is set five years after Return of the Jedi – meaning the Empire has fallen and the New Republic is in its ascendancy – this intergalactic adventure revolves around the mysterious, perpetually helmeted bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), an orphan who was rescued and raised by Mandalorian warriors.

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The New MULAN’s Critical Chi – Nell Minow comments

Nothing is simple and straightforward and uncontroversial in 2020, not even a live-action remake of a popular Disney animated film. Whether intended to or not, the new Mulan has achieved one of the essential goals of any work of art in provoking thoughtful conversations that transcend but are illuminated by the story we see on whatever screen we see it on.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 11, 2020: MULAN

This isn’t one of Disney’s shot-for-shot, song-for-song live-action remakes. Rather, Niki Caro’s Mulan is a serious, often-intense reimagining of the ancient Chinese ballad that also inspired the studio’s 1998 animated hit. More Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon than Disney Princess story, it’s a beautifully filmed epic that gives Hua Mulan increased agency and confidence. Mulan is a hero who may hail from olden times, but speaks to our own.

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MULAN – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

In the hands of Niki Caro, this live action version is a visually-stunning, well-written, high-action war epic that is must-see family entertainment. With a budget of $200 million, – the most for any film helmed by a female – the high-flying stunts, the gorgeous scenery (courtesy of China and New Zealand), the highly choreographed battle scenes, the excellent special effects – all fairly scream that this is one impressive production.

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MULAN – Review by Loren King

Director Niki Caro’s live-action remake of Disney’s beloved 1998 animated Mulan is by far the most ambitious and rewarding of the studio’s recent remakes. It remains faithful to the story, with its ancient origins, while giving it a modernity and a relevance that injects it with new life. It’s an old-fashioned battle epic with a solid female empowerment core.

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