"Can it really be awards season already?" Our own Eric D. Snider asked that question when reporting that IFP (Independent Feature Project) announced the nominees for the Gotham Awards, honoring the best of indie films in 2007. And now the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) has announced their awards categories. AWFJ has two types of categories: the traditional "Best of" awards (film, director, actress, actor, etc.) are presented annually, but the "Special Mention" awards categories are "subject to change each year, depending on the list of films released during the year," according to their site. The awards aim to recognize "the amazing work done by and about women -- both in front and behind the camera."

Most of the categories from last year are back -- AWFJ Hall Of Shame Award(s), Actress(es) Most in Need Of A New Agent, Best Of The Fests, Movies You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn't, Best Depiction Of Nudity or Sexuality -- but seven additional categories have been added for this year's awards. Three of them sound generic: Unforgettable Moment , Cultural Crossover, Bravest Performance. Actually, "Unforgettable Moment" could be cool if it recognizes an isolated scene of genius in an otherwise horrible film, but what constitutes a "Bravest Performance"? Acting without make-up? Risking your life to do a stunt, a la Zoe Bell in Death Proof?

I really love the other four new categories, though: Sequel That Shouldn't Have Been Made (there are so many candidates, how will the AWFJ narrow them down?), Best Leap from Actress to Director (I'm looking at you, Sarah Polley!), Best Seduction and Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest. Not to play the sexist card, but the latter two categories -- especially the "Age Difference" one -- would never be considered by a male-dominated critical group. Here's hoping the awards will call attention to lesser-known, quality films and the women that make them.