(Los Angeles, CA – June 19, 2023) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) Women’s Committee is pleased to announce that “Blue Jean” (Magnolia Pictures) will receive the Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment. Called the “SOFEE,” the Seal recognizes outstanding new films and television series that illuminate the female experience and perspective through authentically told female-driven stories.
Writer-director Georgia Oakley’s feature debut is set in 1980s England, as the conservative government is on the verge of passing Section 28, making the “promotion” of homosexuality illegal. The story follows closeted gym teacher Jean (Rosy McEwen), who keeps her lesbian lifestyle separate from her professional and family life. With the political drums banging, co-workers and family become more open about expressing their disdain for the queer community, intensifying Jean’s discomfort in her own skin. When one of Jean’s students starts frequenting the local lesbian bar and finds community with Jean’s friends, Jean struggles with how to keep her own identity a secret.
“If there’s one movie to see during Pride Month, it’s ‘Blue Jean,’” says Tara McNamara, Chair of the CCA Women’s Committee. “In creating Jean as a composite of the female teachers who lived through the era, Georgia Oakley allows us to walk in the shoes of a lesbian under extreme pressure personally and professionally as the government intervenes to institutionalize homophobia. As LGBTQI+ rights are currently under duress in the United States and elsewhere in the world, Oakley’s historical drama reverberates with issues that are extremely relevant today.”
“Blue Jean” received a perfect score in the numerical formula that is used to determine if new titles, nominated by CCA Women’s Committee members, are eligible for a SOFEE. Qualifying projects will have a prominent female character arc, give female characters at least equal screen time to male characters, have female leaders behind the scenes, and pass elements highlighted in the Bechdel test. To be considered, new film and television releases must possess an artistic and storytelling value and exceptionality, and score at least 7 out of a possible 10 points in the SOFEE rubric, which can be found at CriticsChoice.com.
The Seal of Female Empowerment in Entertainment is issued by the CCA Women’s Committee. Members include Tara McNamara (Chair), Hillary Atkin, Semira Ben-Amor, Christina Birro, Lauren Bradshaw, Jamie Broadnax, TJ Callahan, Catalina Combs, Toni Gonzales, Teri Hart, Susan Kamyab, Destiny Jackson, Lilly Liu, Louisa Moore, Gayl Murphy, Mary Murphy, Sherin Nicole, Patricia Puentes, Amanda Salas, Rachel Smith, Sammi Turano, and Lynn Venhaus, and Lauren Veneziani.
Digital assets and artwork can be found HERE.
About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 580 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.
Chair of the CCA Women’s Committee