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"12 Years a Slave" named best film of 2013 by Alliance of Women Film Journalists

by Brandy McDonnell Published: December 19, 2013
"12 Years a Slave"
"12 Years a Slave"

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, a membership organization of leading women film journalists and critics from across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., including yours truly, has announced the winners of its Eight Annual EDA Awards. (EDA stands for Excellent Dynamic Activism.)

Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” was a clear winner with six total trophies: starting with Best Film, it swept the AWFJ EDA “Best of” categories with four awards; took another in the female-centric EDA Focus Awards; and earned its sixth win in the EDA Special Mention section. The full list of 2013 winners is below and on

Among the “Best of” EDA Awards—which parallel those conferred by other voting organizations—Cate Blanchett was honored as Best Actress for “Blue Jasmine,” and Matthew McConaughey earned Best Actor for “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” Supporting role awards went to Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave,” and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club. The Best Ensemble Cast prize went to “American Hustle”; the EDA for Best Documentary went to Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell”; and Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” was embraced for Best Non-English-Language Film.

The AWFJ also presents two additional awards 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 Awards pay tribute to achievements in filmmaking by women. Among the 2013 winners are Nicole Holofcener, who received the Best Female Director and Best Woman Screenwriter Awards for “Enough Said.” Sandra Bullock grabbed the Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star for her role in “Gravity,” and Anna, the heroine of “Frozen” voiced by Kristen Bell, drew Best Animated Female. Lupita Nyong’o received a second EDA for her work in “12 Years a Slave” with the award for Best Breakthrough Performance.

This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry, celebrates the achievement of Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haafia Al-Mansour for making “Wadjda” and challenging the limitations placed on women in her culture.

For extra fun, the AWFJ presents the EDA Special Mentions. A sampling of these awards include Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction, awarded to Scarlett Johanson and Joaquin Phoenix for their digital lovemaking in “Her,” as well as the Most Memorable Moment Award, which went to “12 Years A Slave” for the Solomon hanging sequence, and the Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest, which went to Michael Douglas and Bre Blair for “Last Vegas.” This the second EDA for Douglas in this category, following Special Mention for 45-year age gap with his “Solitary Man” co-star Imogen Poots in 2010.

Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” attracted particular attention from AWFJ members, receiving EDAs for Movie You Most Wanted to Love, But Just Couldn’t and the AWFJ Hall of Shame Award. The film also brought Cameron Diaz the award for “Actress Most in Need Of a New Agent.”

2013 EDA Awards Winners


Best Film

“12 Years a Slave”

Best Director (Female or Male)

“12 Years a Slave” – Steve McQueen

Best Screenplay, Original

“Her” – Spike Jonze

Best Screenplay, Adapted

“12 Years a Slave” John Ridley –

Best Documentary

“Stories We Tell” – Sarah Polley

Best Animated Film

“The Wind Rises” – Hayao Miyazaki

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett – “Blue Jasmine”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Lupita Nyong’o – “12 Years a Slave”

Best Actor

Matthew McConaughey – “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Jared Leto – “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Ensemble Cast

“American Hustle”

Best Editing

“Gravity” – Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger

Best Cinematography

“Gravity” – Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Film Music Or Score

“Inside Llewyn Davis” – T-Bone Burnett

Best Non-English-Language Film

“The Hunt” – Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark)

"Enough Said"
"Enough Said"


(These awards honor WOMEN only.)

Best Woman Director

Nicole Holofcener – “Enough Said”

Best Woman Screenwriter

Nicole Holofcener – “Enough Said”

Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star

Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”

Best Animated Female

Anna (Kristen Bell) – “Frozen”

Best Breakthrough Performance

Lupita Nyong’o – “12 Years A Slave”

Actress Defying Age and Ageism

Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”

AWFJ Award 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.)

Angelina Jolie – for continued commitments to humanitarian causes, and for promoting awareness about breast cancer.

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.)

Haaifa Al-Mansour – for challenging the limitations placed on women within her culture by making the film “Wadjda”.


AWFJ Hall Of Shame Award

“The Counselor” – Ridley Scott

Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent

Cameron Diaz, “The Counselor”

Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn’t Award

“The Counselor”

Unforgettable Moment Award

“12 Years a Slave” – Solomon hanging

Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction Award

“Her” – Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix

Sequel or Remake That Shouldn’t Have Been Made Award (Tie)


“Oz the Great and Powerful”

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest Award

“Last Vegas” – Michael Douglas and Bre Blair (36 years)

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, with members in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. 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. Activities include intra-group promotional activities, special screenings, outreach programs, and 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 festival slate includes Salem Film Fest, Sheffield Doc/Fest. St. Louis International Film Festival and Whistler Film Festival. The 2013 EDA Awards is the eighth annual presentation of year end awards.


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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