Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards 2019

Posted on January 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm

I am proud to be a member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists and proud of our 2019 awards.

These awards are presented to women and/or men without gender consideration.

Best Film


ROMA
 


Best Director 


Alfonso Cuaron

ROMA


Best Screenplay, Original


THE FAVOURITE

Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara 



Best Screenplay, Adapted 


CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty

Best Documentary 


WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Morgan Neville

Best Animated Film


SPIDER-MAN INTO SPIDER-VERSE

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay, Rodney Rothman 


Best Actress


Olivia Colman

THE FAVOURITE



Best Actress in a Supporting Role 


Regina King

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Actor


Ethan Hawke

FIRST REFORMED

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Richard E Grant

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? 



Best Ensemble Cast

BLACK PANTHER

Sarah Finn, Casting Director

Best Cinematography


ROMA

Alfonso Cuaron

Best Editing


ROMA

Alfonso Cuaron, Adam Gough 



Best Non-English-Language Film


ROMA

Alfonso Cuaron

Mexico

EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS

These awards honor WOMEN only.

Best Woman Director


Marielle Heller

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? 



Best Woman Screenwriter


Deborah Davis

THE FAVOURITE

Best Animated Female

Elastagirl

Holly Hunter

INCREDIBLES 2

Best Breakthrough Performance


Thomasin McKenzie

LEAVE NO TRACE

Outstanding Achievement by A Woman in The Film Industry


Rachel Morrison

For paving the road for women cinematographers with her Oscar nomination for MUDBOUND and scoring as DP on BLACK PANTHER.

EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

Actress Defying Age and Ageism 


Viola Davis – WIDOWS



Bravest Performance


Olivia Colman – THE FAVOURITE 



Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent


Jennifer Lawrence – RED SPARROW

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest Award


MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT – Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson

Remake or Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made


OVERBOARD

AWFJ Hall of Shame Award

ALL ALLEGED ABUSERS: Including Weinstein, Moonves, CK, Spacey, Rush, Franco, Singer, Rose, Lauer et al.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE OF WOMEN FILM JOURNALISTS: AWFJ, a not-for-profit corporation, is an international association of professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media, dedicated to raising the volume on women’s voices in the film community by broadening opportunities for women who write about film and supporting films by and about women – both in front of and behind the cameras – through intra-group promotional activities, outreach programs and by presenting EDA awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (the best and worst) by and about women in the movies. More information about AWFJ, including the membership list, can be accessed at www.awfj.org or sending inquiries to awfjinc@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE EDA AWARDS: The AWFJ presents EDA Awards to honor women’s achievements in front of and behind the cameras. In addition to the annual end of the year awards, AWFJ presents EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Films at select film festivals, including IDFA, Whistler Film Festival, DOXA. Edinburgh Film Festival. St. Louis International Film Festival and others. The EDAs are named in honor of AWFJ founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, Eda Reiss Merin, a stage, film and screen actress whose career spanned more than 60 years. A dedicated foot soldier in the industry, Eda was one of the founders of AFTRA and a long-standing member of AMPAS.

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Women-Led Movies Make More Money

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 8:10 am

A new study shows that over the past few years, movies with a female lead character made more money in every category from low-budget to blockbuster-budget, than movies with a male lead character. And that didn’t even count films like “The Force Awakens” because technically Daisy Ridley was not listed as the star.

According to findings from the Creative Artists Agency and shift7, a company started by the former United States chief technology officer Megan Smith, the top movies from 2014 to 2017 starring women earned more than male-led films, whether they were made for less than $10 million or for $100 million or more.

The research also found that films that passed the Bechdel test — which measures whether two female characters have a conversation about something other than a man — outperformed those that flunked it.

That may be, as one of the study’s authors notes, that it is harder to get financing for a woman-led film, so the extra hurdles mean that only the best get made. It may be that executives are willing to bet on a film with a popular male star, even if the script is weak, but not a female star. It will be interesting to see if this research leads to any changes in the way productions are greenlit.

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Gender and Diversity Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Rotten Tomatoes Welcomes More Diverse Critics

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 10:18 am

Rotten Tomatoes has made a very important step forward in promoting diversity with an announcement about its revised policy for accepting critics. As a critic who has been on Rotten Tomatoes almost since it began, I am delighted.

Copyright Rotten Tomatoes 2018

In revamping our Critics Criteria, we sought to bring the criteria into better alignment with the way media works today, to promote the inclusion of more voices that reflect the varied groups of people who consume entertainment, and to maintain the high standards we’ve always set for inclusion in the group of Tomatometer-approved critics.

When assessing applications from those wishing to be a Tomatometer-approved critic, or a Tomatometer-approved publication, we now take into consideration four key values as well as a revised set of eligibility requirements. These values are Insight, Audience, Quality, and Dedication, and you can find a full breakdown of each value here.

Movie critics in general, including those on Rotten Tomatoes, are overwhelmingly white males. Filmmakers like Meryl Streep and Brie Larson have complained that this lack of diversity does not fairly represent the experiences and perspectives of movie audiences. Rotten Tomatoes’ revised criteria reflect not just outreach to diverse voices but a thoughtful reassessment based on the wider range of platforms for criticism, including podcasts and videos. They make their commitment clear with a link in the announcement to invite other critics to apply.

This comes just after Chaz Ebert announced on Rogerebert.com its new gender-balanced roster of critics, five men and five women, including POCs, with more as contributors. I am very proud to be a part of this group, and to be the site’s first female assistant editor, and very happy to see critics as diverse as our readers.

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Is 2018 the Best Year for Movies Featuring Women and Girls?

Posted on June 10, 2018 at 11:45 am

2017 was a good year for women in film, with “Wonder Woman” directed by Patty Jenkins and “Beauty and the Beast” in the top 10 for box office. 2018 looks even better, with “Oceans 8” doing better than its male-led predecessors with a very strong $41 million opening weekend.

Also worth noting:

The Washington Post’s The Lily, which focuses on news stories about and of interest to women, has a very good piece on upcoming movies and television shows with strong female characters. Recommendations on television include “Dietland,” “Claws,” “American Woman,” and the second season of “GLOW.”

And in movies, “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Woman Walks Ahead,” “Whitney,” and “Brain on Fire.”

And Slate’s Lena Wilson says that horror movies have reached “the age of the monster girl.”

This year and the last in particular have seen a number of releases featuring monstrous young women. Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds and Julia Ducournau’s Raw both found widespread critical success, while features like The Lure, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Wildling, and Tribeca premiere The Dark feature lesser-known violent ladies. Regardless of Rotten Tomatoes score, each of the protagonists in these movies are girls with uncontrollable bloodlust, whether psychological (the sociopaths of Thoroughbreds and The Blackcoat’s Daughter) or physical (the flesh cravers of Wildling and Raw). None of these movies have overtly political plots, but it’s hard to dismiss the social implications of a spate of girls-bite-back films in the era of Trump.

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Gender and Diversity Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Beyond the Bechdel Test: Using Software to Test Screenplay Gender Balance

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Male actors are refusing to appear in films unless their female co-stars get equal pay.  Stars are insisting on “inclusion riders” in their contracts to make sure that every part of the production is open to all.  And now there is software to test the “gender balance” in a screenplay.

The New York Times reports:

Now, a few Hollywood players have developed technology that aims to do that: new screenplay software that can automatically tell whether a script is equitable for men and women.

The idea came from Christina Hodson, a screenwriter who is involved with Time’s Up, the activist Hollywood organization addressing inequities in the industry…

She wondered if screenwriting software — which writers almost universally use to format scripts — could easily tabulate the number of male and female roles, for example, and how much each spoke. That way, writers could see and tackle the problem even before casting directors or producers had their say….On Thursday, just weeks after that initial conversation, Highland 2, with the gender analysis tool that Ms. Hodson dreamed up, became available in the Apple app store as a free download.

 

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