Girls On Film, the film review podcast from a female perspective, announced the winners of the inaugural Girls On Film Awards last Wednesday - 2nd March 2022 - held at The Garden Cinema, supported by La Gioiosa Prosecco, Belle & Co and Rémy Martin. The awards were presented by co-founders Anna Smith and Hedda Archbold, and guests included actors Kerry Fox, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ruth Madeley. Ground-breaking awards ranged from Female Friendship on Screen to the Best Female Orgasm on Film.

The Girls On Film Awards reward excellence in the field of feminism, inclusion and diversity, female representation and the female gaze. Girls On Film particularly wants to celebrate the representation of diversity and of complex female characters on screen.
Girls On Film applaud and champion all female-led, female focused films but want to hand out their own awards for the films and individuals that they feel deserve particular plaudits. Because the awards are in part a celebration of Girls On Film’s third anniversary, films were eligible if they were released between the launch of the podcast on 2 October 2018, and 4 February 2022.

The winners are:

1. Feminist Fiction Feature – Booksmart
2. Documentary Feature – For Sama
3. Female Friendship On screen – Booksmart
4. Ensemble Acting – Rocks
5. Girls On Film Ally Award – Bo Burnham for Kayla Day in Eighth Grade
6. Composer – Nainita Desai
7. Feminist Publicity Campaign – Pathé for Misbehaviour
8. Diversity Badge of Honour – joint winners Michaela Coel and Ruth Madeley
9. Feminist Superhero – Mia Bays
10. Best Female Orgasm – I’m Your Man

Below are full details including citations.

1.Feminist Fiction Feature – winner: BOOKSMART

Citation: We are delighted with the international flavour of the nominees which include three UK-US collaborations, a Bosnian and a French film. The winning film combines a sharp script with spot-on performances from two of our earliest interviewees, back in episode 14 of Girls On Film: Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. The filmmakers couldn’t be with us but a regular contributor to Girls On Film, film critic and broadcaster Rhianna Dhillon said a few words about that makes the film so special and impactful.


-The Lost Daughter Portrait of a Lady on Fire Promising Young Woman Quo Vadis, Aida?

2.Documentary Feature – Winner: FOR SAMA

Citation: There are some incredible women working in documentary filmmaking at the moment. We adored all these films but there was one that clearly moved our voters especially deeply, and which demonstrated how powerful film can be in fighting injustice. The award was collected by filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab and Afraa Hashem.


– Cow
– Crip Camp
– For Sama
– Rebel Dykes
– Writing with Fire

3.Female Friendship On Screen – winner: BOOKSMART

Citation: Friendships between women are incredibly important – and it’s so important to see that reflected on screen. The winning film had at its heart a friendship through thick and thin that was inspiring and uplifting. Kaitlyn Deever and Beanie Feldstein could not be with us but a regular contributor to Girls On Film, film critic and broadcaster Ashanti Omkar said a few words about the impact of the film.


– Booksmart
– Herself
– Hustlers
– Misbehaviour
– Rocks

4.Ensemble Acting – winner: ROCKS

Citation: Film is such a collaborative art form and when we lift each other up we all rise. We
want to celebrate that with the ensemble acting category.


– Babyteeth
– The Farewell
– Little Women
– Rocks – Zola

5.Girls On Film Ally – awarded to a male screenwriter/director for creating a complex female screen character – winner: BO BURNHAM

Citation: It is so important for women to be portrayed as they really are, on screen: in all their complexity. That’s why we want to highlight the male screenwriter-directors who have created a complex female character in their film. Our ally and one of the few male guests on Girls On Film, Sanjeev Bhaskar, came to present this award. All the nominated films were written by men who listened and learned from the women around them. The winner is a comedian who was inspired by the young women who responded to his routines about anxiety and social media. With their feedback, he wrote a 13-year old girl who we could all relate to. He was also Girls On Film’s first male guest!


– Pedro Almodovar for Janis played by Penélope Cruz in Parallel Mothers (2022)
– J Blakeson for Marla Grayson played by Rosamund Pike in I Care A Lot (2020)
– Bo Burnham for Kayla Day played by Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade (2018)
– John Krasinski for Evelyn Abbott played by Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place Part II (2020)
– Jordan Peele for Adelaide Wilson played by Lupita Nyong’o in Us (2019)

6.Composer – winner: NAINITA DESAI

Citation: Film composing is still a male-dominated field, but we hope that this is gradually changing and we’ve been proud to feature some fantastic female composers on Girls On Film. The winner of this award has been on the podcast twice, to talk about her body of work including The Wall: Climb for Gold and For Sama. We were delighted that Nainita Desai came to collect her award in person.


– Nainita Desai
– Anne Dudley
– Hildur Guðnadóttir
– Morgan Kibby
– Mica Levi

7.Feminist Publicity Campaign – winner: MISBEHAVIOUR

Citation: Films benefit tremendously from the creative work of publicists. We did a special about film publicity in episode #99 – if you haven’t heard it, do seek it out. All the publicists did a terrific job on the nominated films and we have enjoyed working with them. One particular film was coming out just as lockdown struck in 2020, and we were impressed with how the team adapted to the challenging circumstances and spread the film’s feminist message on social media and beyond. The Pathé team were unable to join us but we were delighted that the director of Misbehaviour, Philippa Lowthorpe was able to accept the award on their behalf.


– Misbehaviour – supported by a campaign by Pathé with Premier PR
– Mothers of the Revolution – supported by a campaign by Organic and Universal
– Rare Beasts – supported by a campaign by Dundas communications alongside
Republic Films Distribution and Billie Piper
– Rocks – supported by a campaign by Christelle Randall, Amber Muotto and Mark Jones at Altitude.
– Saint Maud – supported by a campaign by Margy Pellegrino and Matt Dinsdale at StudioCanal

8.Diversity Badge of Honour – winners: MICHAELA COEL & RUTH MADELEY

Citation: Diversity and representation are a big part of the discussion on Girls On Film, and we are always humbled to be joined by women who are making a real difference in this area. We alighted on joint winners who have done so much for diversity on screen, from race to disability to sexuality. We were delighted that actor and activist Ruth Madeley was able to join us.


– Michaela Coel
– Sarah Gavron
– Ruth Madeley
– Ashanti Omkar

9.Feminist Superhero – winner: MIA BAYS

Citation: This is not, as you might think, an award for an onscreen superhero – though we could easily have nominated Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel or Shuri. We decided to nominate real life women who are disrupters of inequality in the entertainment industry – who have changed the landscape of the film industry. We love all the nominated women so much and they – along with many others, some of whom are in this room – have inspired us and kept us going. This was a tough decision, but we’ve chosen to reward a woman who has worked tirelessly to bring female led films to bigger audiences.
We were delighted that Mia Bays accepted her award in person.


– Annenberg Inclusion Initiative – Stacy Smith runs the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the leading think tank studying diversity and inclusion in entertainment.
– Shaheen Baig – is committed to ensuring that the films she works on are representative of the audience in terms of ethnicity, class and gender.
– Mia Bays – the Oscar winning producer who did an inspiring job as director-at-large at female-focused film charity Birds’ Eye View. She is now the director of the BFI Film Fund.
– Ava DuVernay – the writer, director, producer and film distributor is constantly breaking new ground and brings activism into her work, supporting upcoming talent while fighting for a better future.
– Michelle Obama – the co-founder of Higher Ground, the production company that explores issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights, and more. Their films include Becoming, which inspired a whole new generation of young women.
– Melissa Silverstein – the writer who was one of the first to start shouting about the gender inequalities in Hollywood. She is the founder and editor of Women and Hollywood, one of the most respected sites for issues related to women and film.

10.Best Female Orgasm – winner: I’M YOUR MAN

Citation: The Climax of the night was the award for the Best Female Orgasm – awarded for sensitive treatment of female pleasure on screen. This award often raises a laugh but it has a serious purpose. When female pleasure is depicted in mainstream films, it’s usually seen through the male gaze. Girls On Film has been keeping a keen eye on sex scenes in mainstream and arthouse movies, looking out for the most thoughtful, responsible and authentic depictions of the female orgasm. In the winning film, the climactic scene depicts the complexity of the experience for the woman. It shows her inner emotional truth and serves to develop the plot. The scene gains in erotic power because of it. This scene is especially interesting because the scene is between a woman – and a robot, played by Dan Stevens. Maren Eggert was not able to join us but sent us an acceptance message on video, and Dan Stevens shared his excitement on social media.


– I’m Your Man – directed by Maria Schrader, starring Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens
– If Beale Street Could Talk – directed by Barry Jenkins, starring Kiki Layne and Stephan
– The Miseducation of Cameron Post – directed by Desirée Akhavan, starring Chloë
Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane
– Portrait of a Lady on Fire – directed by Céline Sciamma, starring Noémie Merlant and
Adèle Haenel
– Queen & Slim – directed Melina Matsoukas, by starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel

All episodes of the Girls On Film podcast can be found here