‘Nomadland’ Triumphs at Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards (EXCLUSIVE)
Variety 2hrs ago
Frances McDormand standing in front of a beach © Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

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The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has announced its 2020 AWFJ EDA winners, where the most-nominated film “Nomadland” walked away with six categories including best film, actress (Frances McDormand) and cinematography (Joshua James Richards). Filmmaker Chloé Zhao won three individual prizes for directing, adapted screenplay and editing.

The AWFJ recognizes the year’s best regardless of gender in the conventional “best of” categories and this year, women dominated on both sides. In a change from years prior, Jennifer Merin, founder and film critic, says, “we decided to exclude women who won Best Of Awards from competition in our Female Focus Award categories.”

Other winners included Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) in lead and supporting actor while Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”) won best supporting actress, surpassing Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) in wins so far this awards season.

See the full winners list below.


(These awards are presented to women and/or men without gender consideration)

Best Film

“Minari” (A24)

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – WINNER

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Best Director 

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” (A24)

Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – WINNER

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – WINNER

Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Best Actress 

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – WINNER

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role 

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Bill Murray, “On the Rocks” (A24/Apple TV Plus)

Leslie Odom Jr, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – WINNER

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank” (Netflix)

Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” (A24) – WINNER

Best Screenplay, Original 

“Mank” (Netflix) – Jack Fincher

“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell – WINNER

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Aaron Sorkin

Best Screenplay, Adapted

“First Cow” (A24) – Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Chloé Zhao – WINNER

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Kemp Powers

Best Animated Film

“Over the Moon” (Netflix)

“Soul” (Pixar) – WINNER

“Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)

Best Cinematography 

“Mank” (Netflix) – Erik Messerschmidt

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joshua James Richards – WINNER

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Tami Reiker

Best Editing 

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Tariq Anwar

“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Chloé Zhao – WINNER

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Alan Baumgarten

Best Documentary 

“All In: The Fight for Democracy” (Amazon Studios) – WINNER (tie)

“Athlete A” (Netflix)

“Crip Camp” (Netflix)

“The Painter and the Thief” (Neon) – WINNER (tie)

“Time” (Amazon Studios)

Best Non-English-Language Film

“Another Round” – Denmark – WINNER

“Beanpole” – Russia

“The Mole Agent” – Chile

“The Painted Bird” – Czech Republic

Best Ensemble Cast – Casting Director

“Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix) – Kim Coleman

“One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) – Kimberly Hardin – WINNER (tie)

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) – Francine Maisler – WINNER (tie)


(These awards honor WOMEN only, excluding women who’ve won the category in the Best Of Awards.

Best Woman Director 

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – WINNER

Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)

Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” (A24)

Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Woman Screenwriter 

Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix) – WINNER

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Animated Female 

“22” in “Soul” (Pixar) – portrayed by Tina Fey – WINNER

“Mebh Óg MacTíre” in “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) – portrayed by Eva Whittaker

“Robyn Goodfellowe” in “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS) – portrayed by Honor Kneafsey

Best Woman’s Breakthrough Performance 

Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)

Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features) – WINNER

Helena Zengel, “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry 

All female heads of film festivals who successfully transitioned from live to online events to sustain festival culture through the pandemic.

All indie female writers and directors who normalized abortion as a vital element in the cultural conversation in films such as “Saint Frances,” “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” “Sister of the Groom,” “Once Upon a River,” The Glorias” and others. – WINNER

Emerald Fennell for creating a film that forces empathy to put an end to the toxic sexist rape culture pervasive through modern history.

Sophia Loren for a brilliant comeback at age 86 in “The Life Ahead,” the latest in her record-setting career. Loren won a Best Actress Oscar in 1962 for “Two Women” and was the first actor to win for a foreign language movie. She was also nominated in 1965 for “Marriage Italian Style.” If she’s nominated in 2021, it will be a 56-year span between her two most recent nominations – the current record is held by Henry Fonda, who had a 41-year gap between nominations.


Grand Dame Award for defying ageism.

Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Tsai Chin, “Lucky Grandma” (Good Deed Entertainment)

Sophia Loren, “The Life Ahead” (Netflix) – WINNER

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Most Egregious Lovers’ Age Difference Award 

“The Burnt Orange Heresy” (Sony Pictures Classics) – Elizabeth Debicki and Claes Bang (23 years)

“Devil All the Time” (Netflix) – Riley Keough and Jason Clarke (20 years)

“Mank” – Amanda Seyfried and Charles Dance (39 years), Gary Oldman (27 years)

“Tenet” – Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh (30 years) – WINNER

She Deserves A New Agent Award 

Rose Byrne, “Like a Boss” (Paramount Pictures)

Tiffany Haddish, “Like a Boss” (Paramount Pictures)

Katie Holmes, “Dare to Dream” (Gravitas Ventures)

Uma Thurman, “The War with Grandpa” (101 Studios) – WINNER

Most Daring Performance Award 

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ (Amazon Studios) – WINNER

Haley Bennett, “Swallow” (IFC Films)

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)

Elisabeth Moss, “The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures)

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Time Waster Remake or Sequel Award 

“The Croods: A New Age” (DreamWorks Animation)

“Doolittle” (Universal Pictures) – WINNER

“Rebecca” (Netflix)

AWFJ Hall of Shame Award 

Shia LeBoeuf for his ongoing abusive behavior

Christopher Nolan for insisting that “Tenet” be screened exclusively in theaters during a pandemic. – WINNER (tie)

Dallas Sonnier and Adam Donaghey at Cinestate for sexual harassment, abuse and cover-up. – WINNER (tie)

AWFJ is an international association of professional female movie critics, reporters and feature writers working in print, broadcast and online media. The EDAs are named in honor of AWFJ founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, Eda Reiss Merin, a stage, film and screen actress whose career spanned more than 60 years. A dedicated foot soldier in the industry, Eda was one of the founders of AFTRA and a long-standing member of AMPAS.

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