The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ EDA Awards at the Whistler Film Festival

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists and Whistler Film Festival announced the winners of the AWFJ EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Feature and Best Female-Directed Short at this year’s Whistler Film Festival. The winners were revealed during a virtual awards ceremony on December 13th. This year marks the tenth consecutive partnership between AWFJ and WFF to recognize and honor the work of female filmmakers. WFF nominates five narrative films and ten short films for consideration, while AWFJ members serve as the jurors.

Winning this year’s prize for Best Female-Directed Feature is “Rodeo,” directed by Montreal filmmaker Joelle Desjardins Parquette in her feature debut. “The film tells the story of an unusual and engaging father-daughter relationship that plays out in a cross-country road movie in which a hard-living trucker and his nine-year-old daughter travel from Quebec to Alberta for a truck rodeo,” according to AWFJ president Jennifer Merin.

The AWFJ jurors for Best Female-Directed Feature were Karen Gordon, Jennifer Green, Jennifer Merin (Chair), and Kristen Page-Kirby. In the jury statement, the four-member panel said that after two rounds of deliberations, they had “decided to present the EDA an engaging father/daughter story that is told sensitively and without clichés. The characters are fully fleshed out, feeling real affection, experiencing real jeopardy and leaving us wanting to know more.” 

The 2022 winner of the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short is “Violet Gave Willingly,” a documentary directed by Claire Sanford, who is also based in Montreal. According to the jury statement, “the ten nominated films were all excellent, but our deliberations drew to a conclusion with one winner, a documentary short that, in the opinion of the jury, delivers a powerfully gripping and thought-provoking feminist narrative in which a mother and daughter dance around a subject that neither wants to discuss. 

Whistler Film Festival states it has been championing women in film since its inception in 2001. In addition to programming films directed by women, the festival holds an annual Women on Top event, gathering leading women in film from around the world to meet, greet and network with each other. Additionally, the festival’s annual presentation of Women In the Director’s Chair and Women in Film & Television Vancouver mentorship programs connect up-and-coming female film directors to industry moguls and the methodology they recommend for success.

For more information on WFF and the nominated films, visit whistlerfilmfestival.com. For more information on AWFJ’s EDA Awards, click here

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