The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which I am a member, announced the winners of their 2017 EDA Awards, which are divided into three categories. The EDA "Best Of" Awards honor the work of both genders in the film community, while the EDA Female Focus Awards shine a spotlight on the achievements of women. There is also a third category called Special Mentions which include such honors as "Actress Defying Age and Ageism," which went this year to French New Wave icon, Agnès Varda, who is as busy as ever at age 89. It also includes awards for "Bravest Performance" (a tie this year between Sally Hawkins for "The Shape of Water" and Margot Robbie for "I, Tonya"), and "Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent" (Kate Winslet for "Wonder Wheel" and "The Mountain Between Us").
Guillermo del Toro's timely romantic fable, "The Shape of Water," took home two top honors, Best Film and Best Director, while Varda's latest film, "Faces Places," was crowned Best Documentary. Gary Oldman ("Darkest Hour") and Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri") continue their streak of wins by earning Best Actor and Best Actress accolades, respectively, and though Willem Dafoe ("The Florida Project") and Laurie Metcalf ("Lady Bird") both lost at the Golden Globes, they continue to be the critical frontrunners for Supporting Actor and Actress prizes, courtesy of the AWFJ. "Lady Bird" filmmaker Greta Gerwig was named Best Women Director and Screenwriter, while "Mudbound" casting directors Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram won the Best Ensemble award.
In light of the #MeToo movement that led to the establishment of the much-publicized Times Up legal defense fund, the AWFJ acknowledged the current seismic shift in Hollywood in three pointed categories. The Outstanding Achievement by A Woman in The Film Industry honored "Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and all who spoke out against sexual harassment," while the AWFJ Hall of Shame Award went to "sexual tormentors Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, et al." Louis CK earned a mention for his shelved film, "I Love You, Daddy," which won the Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest Award for its pairing of 64-year-old John Malkovich and 20-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz.
"This year was an important year for women to feel empowered to speak out and be heard," states EDA AWARDS and AWFJ founder and film critic Jennifer Merin. "The need for gender parity and gender diversity in the movie industry is patently clear, and the time to stop sexual harassment in all industries is now. These goals are fundamental to AWFJ's mission and it's core values. I am thrilled that for this year's awards, our AWFJ members voted to honor such a diverse array of talent and to recognize those who are leading with their voices to put an end to long time misconduct making the 2017 EDA Awards particularly relevant when art and film must be the vanguard of social progress."
The acronym "EDA" stands for "Excellent Dynamic Activism" and is a tribute to Merin's mother, actress Eda Reiss Merin.
Here is the full list of winners in all three categories:
AWFJ EDA ‘BEST OF’ AWARDS
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Guillermo del Toro – THE SHAPE OF WATER
Best Screenplay, Original
GET OUT – Jordan Peele
Best Screenplay, Adapted
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Best Animated Film (Tie)
Frances McDormand – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Laurie Metcalf – LADY BIRD
Gary Oldman – DARKEST HOUR
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Willem Dafoe – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Best Ensemble Cast – Casting Director
MUDBOUND – Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram
Roger Deakins – BLADE RUNNER 2049
Lee Smith – DUNKIRK
Best Non-English-Language Film
EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS
These awards honor WOMEN only.
Best Woman Director
Greta Gerwig – LADY BIRD
Best Woman Screenwriter
Greta Gerwig – LADY BIRD
Best Animated Female
Parvana – THE BREADWINNER
Best Breakthrough Performance
Brooklynn Prince – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Outstanding Achievement by A Woman in The Film Industry
Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and all who spoke out against sexual harassment
EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS
Actress Defying Age and Ageism (name actress and film)
AGNES VARDA – FACES,PLACES
Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest Award
I LOVE YOU DADDY – Chloe Grace Moretz and John Malkovich
Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent (name actress and film)
Kate Winslet for WONDER WHEEL and THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US
Bravest Performance (name actress and film) (Tie)
Sally Hawkins – THE SHAPE OF WATER
Margot Robbie – I, TONYA
Remake or Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made
AWFJ Hall of Shame Award
Sexual Tormentors: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, et al
For more information on the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, visit their official site.