By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

ALLIANCE OF WOMENS FILM JOURNALISTS ANNOUNCES 7TH ANNUAL EDA AWARD WINNERS

January 7, 2013 – The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ), a membership organization of leading women film journalists and critics from across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., has announced the winners of its 7th Annual EDA Awards. Starting with Best Film, “Zero Dark Thirty” swept the AWFJ EDA “Best of” categories with five awards, took another two in the female-centric EDA Focus Awards, and earned its eighth win in the EDA Special Mention section.

In the EDA ‘Best of’ categories—which parallel those used by other voting organizations–Jessica Chastain and Daniel Day Lewis were honored for their leading roles, with supporting role awards going to Anne Hathaway and  Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Malik Benjelloul’s “Searching for Sugar Man” received the EDA for Best Documentary, and Michael Haneke’s “Amour” was embraced for “Best Non-English-Language Film.”

The AWFJ also presents two award categories that reflect the organization’s mission to celebrate women in filmmaking, as well as the perspective of women in film journalism.

The EDA Focus Award pay tribute to achievements in filmmaking by women.  Among the 2012 winners are Lucy Alibar, who received the Best Woman Screenwriter Award for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which she co-wrote with and Benh Zeitlin; Jennifer Lawrence who grabbed the Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star for her role in “The Hunger Game”; and the “Brave” heroine Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, which drew Best Animated Female.  Best Breakthrough Performance went Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry, celebrates the overall achievements this year by “Women Documentary Filmmakers,” with five named for special mention.

ABOUT AWFJ and THE EDA AWARDS
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Inc. (AWFJ), a not-for-profit corporation, is an association of professional female movie critics, reporters, and feature writers working in print, broadcast, and online media. AWFJ is dedicated to raising awareness about women’s perspectives on film and to supporting work by and about women — both in front of and behind the cameras — through intra-group promotional activities, outreach programs, and by presenting the annual EDA Awards in recognition of outstanding accomplishments (the best and worst) by and about women in the movies. In 2012, AWFJ launched a new program to present EDA Awards to women filmmakers in partnership with select film festivals, in addition to the annual year end awards.  The 2012 EDA Awards is the seventh annual presentation. awfj.org

ALLIANCE OF WOMEN FILM JOURNALISTS
2012 EDA Awards Winners

AWFJ EDA ‘BEST OF’ AWARDS:

Best Film:  “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Director:  Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Screenplay, Original:  Mark Boal – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Screenplay, Adapted:  Chris Terrio – “Argo”

Best Documentary:  “Searching For Sugar Man”

Best Animated Film:  “ParaNorman”

Best Actress:  Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:  Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”

Best Actor:  Daniel Day Lewis – “Lincoln”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:  Phillip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”

Best Ensemble Cast:  “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Editing:  William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Cinematography:  Claudio Miranda – “Life of Pi”

Best Film Music or Score:  Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Best Non-English-Language Film:  “Amour”

EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS:
These awards honor WOMEN only.

Best Woman Director:  Kathryn Bigelow – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Woman Screenwriter:  Lucy Alibar (and Benh Zeitlin) – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star:  Jennifer Lawrence – “The Hunger Games”

Best Animated Female:  Merida (Kelly Macdonald) – “Brave”

Best Breakthrough Performance:  Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Actress Defying Age and Ageism:  Judi Dench – “Skyfall”

AWFJ Award for Humanitarian Activism – Female Icon Award, presented to an actress for the portrayal of the most positive female role model, or for a role in which she takes personal and/or career risks to plumb the female psyche and therefore gives us courage to plumb our own, and/or for putting forth the image of a woman who is heroic, accomplished, persistent, demands her rights and/or the rights of others:
Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”

This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry, presented only when warranted to a female who has had a banner–making, record–breaking, industry–changing achievement during any given year:
Women Documentary Filmmakers – including Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Detropia”), Lauren Greenfield (“Queen of Versailles”), Alison Klayman (“Ai Weiwei Never Sorry”) and Sarah Burns (“The Central Park Five”).

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch