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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Dear Irene Cho, I will miss your energy and passion; your optimism and joy; your kindness towards friends, colleagues, strangers, struggling filmmakers, or anyone who randomly crossed your path and needed a hand. My brothers and I have long considered you another sibling in our family. Our holiday photos – both western and eastern – have you among all the cousins, in-laws, and kids… in the snow, sun, opening presents, at large dinner gatherings, playing Monopoly, breaking out pomegranate seeds and teaching us all how to dance Gangnam style. Your friendship and loyalty meant a great deal to me: you were the loudest cheerleader when I experienced victories and you were always ready with sushi when I had disappointments. You had endless crazy ideas which always seemed impossible but you would will them into existence. (Like that time you called me and suggested that we host a brunch for newly elected mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti because “he is going to president one day.” We didn’t have enough time or funding, of course, only your desire to do it. So you did, and I followed.) You created The Daily Buzz from nothing and it survived on your steam in spite of many setbacks because you believed in a platform for emerging filmmakers from all nations. Most of all, you were a wonderful mother to your son, Ethan, a devoted wife to your husband, and a wonderful sibling and daughter to your family. We will all miss how your wonderful smile and energy lit up the room and our lives. Rest in peace, Irene.
~ Rose Kuo Remembers Irene Cho on Facebook

“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

“For the last three decades I’ve been making movies, I’ve been living, I’ve been observing the world. You become a different person, so basically my perspective on the world in general is very different and I hope that with every movie I make a step forward. I kind of hope I’m a better person, and hopefully a better filmmaker and hopefully try to… It’s very hard for me to go back to a different time when I would have different values in my relationship to filmmaking. I had a stiffer notion of cinema.”
~ Olivier Assayas