By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com


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.

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

2012 EDA Awards Winners


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”

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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“I run a movie for myself the first time, and if I can forget I had anything to do with the picture, and I’m halfway through the movie and I’m just the audience, then that is my litmus test for a film working. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anybody outside of myself, but when I lose the aesthetic distance between the screen and where I’m sitting, the first time I run a picture that I’ve directed for myself, if I’m aware to the very end that I’m the director, and all I can do is find things to fault, then I know I have my work cut out for me. And I have to roll up my sleeves and fix everything. But when I can watch a movie and I can forget that I made the movie, that’s the first sign that I’m going to be pretty happy with it, that I’m going to be able to live with it.”
~ Steven Spielberg On When He Thinks A Movie Is Working

“I was brought up on newspapers. I love newspapers. I love old-fashioned newspapers, but today I read them on the Internet because of time. And in New York, I read the morning papers, then I read the London papers on my iPad. But entertainment is very important. With broadband coming, everything is changing. People now spend four or five hours on their iPhones, their smartphones, which is changing the world totally. I found it with my young children. They are on their iPhones while they are watching television, doing two things at once. The fact that now we have 2.5 billion people with smartphones, with access to knowledge all over the world, with access to each other, government is going to change, the world is going to change. And it’s going to change very fast. We’ve only had smartphones for eight years, and now we have 2.5 billion of them. In another eight years, we will have 5 billion. The whole world will be on them… If newspapers have opinions, if they are really well-written, if they’re very reliable, people will pay for them. Then they are viable. We found [that] with the Wall Street Journal. You have newspapers on the Internet which are so good people will pay for them. There are people who steal things, rewrite them and put them out, like Google, but they are not reliable at all.”
~ Rupert Murdoch