Peer Group Recognition for Film Editors
Film editors who work on documentaries really do deserve abundant recognition for their work on structuring and shaping the story of the nonfiction film they're cutting.
Nonfiction storytelling requires documentary editors to sift through hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of hours of footage to find the most revealing and gripping moments that will advance an audience's understanding of and knowledge about the subject, leading characters, events and issues covered in the film.
Often the footage they're scanning was shot during past historical periods when different technologies were in use. Theirs is an exacting, sometimes exhausting job that requires special smarts, divine intuition, keen observation, a huge set of technical skills and enormous patience.
For all that, film editors don't usually win Oscars for nonfiction movies. The golden statuette us usually bestowed for work done on a narrative feature.
The required skills are, of course, closely related -- but they're different enough that documentary editing really does deserve its own listing on the Academy's awards roster. As nonfiction features continue to grow in audience popularity, perhaps the Academy will give creation of a new documentary editor slot some consideration.
Meanwhile, documentary editors do get recognition from the Cinema Eye Honors and the IDA Awards, both of which focus on outstanding achievement in documentary filmmaking, and the ACE Awards, presented by the American Cinema Editors.
It's always great to be honored by your peers. For film editors that disctinction comes in the form of Eddie Awards presented by their professional association, the American Cinema Editors, or A.C.E.
The 63rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards ceremony took place on February 16, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California.
ACE Eddies are presented for narrative and documentary editing, and in several distinct categories for each genre.
This year, the Eddie for Best Documentary Feature was presented to Malik Bendjelloul for Searching For Sugar Man. Bendjelloul also directed Searching For Sugar Man, which is nominated for this year's Best Documentary Oscar. Searching For Sugar Man has already won Best Documentary Feature Awards from the IDA, BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and numerous film festivals.
In a category newly created and presented for the first time this year, the Eddie Award for Best Edited Television Documentary was presented to Pamela Scott Arnold for American Masters' Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
A second Eddie Award for television nonfiction programming was presented to Andy Netley and Sharon Gillooly, editors of Frozen Planet: The Ends of the Earth, an episode in the David Attenborough nature series that's co-produced by the British Broadcasting System and the Discovery Channel with several others on board. The Eddie Award was given for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series.
Additionally, American Cinema Editors presented two Lifetime Career Achievement Awards, one Richard Marks, A.C.E., who works primarily in narrative features that are released theatrically. The second Life Time Career Achievement Award was bestowed upon editor Larry Silk, A.C.E., whose body of work in theatrically released documentaries includes Pumping Iron, Wild Man Blues and Oscar winners American Dream and Marjoe, among many others. Silk also edited numerous television documentaries, several of which won Emmys. Documentary filmmaker Barbara Koppel presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry Silk.