OPEN CALL ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2018 KAREN SCHMEER FELLOWSHIP

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship open call for its eighth annual award will run August 2, 2017 through September 29, 2017.

Applicants must have edited at least one feature documentary (60 minutes or longer) but no more than three and plan on living in the US between March 2018 and March 2019. 

The fellowship champions emerging documentary editors by developing their talent, expanding their creative community, and furthering their career aspirations. In collaboration with American Cinema Editors (ACE), Manhattan Edit Workshop, SXSW, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and other partners, the fellowship offers a wide array of opportunities. 

Awarded once a year, the fellowship honors the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer (The Fog of War; Fast, Cheap & Out of Control; Bobby Fischer Against the World), who was killed in a hit-and-run at the age 39, on January 29, 2010.

Recent films edited by former fellows include Risk (editor Erin Casper), Quest (Lindsay Utz), The Lovers and the Despot (Jim Hession), and An Inconvenient Sequel (Colin Nusbaum).

Our application guide and FAQ can be found here.

The 2017-18 fellowship benefits include: Mentorship with veteran editors; pass, badge and/or admission to: ACE EditFest Los Angeles, SXSW Film Festival, IFFBoston, Manhattan Edit Workshop’s Sight, Sound & Story summit, the KSFEF/Sundance Institute’s Contemplating the Cut workshop, Rooftop Films, Stranger than Fiction, IDA’s Getting Real conference, DOC NYC and the Camden International Film Festival; travel, accommodations and per diem to two of the aforementioned events; a credential to the Sundance Film Festival; an IDA one-year membership; an Adobe Cloud membership; an ACE “special” membership; a $1000 cash award; a $250 gift certificate at Powell’s Books; a portrait session with a professional photographer; and a DVD collection of all 12 of Karen’s films.

KAREN SCHMEER, ACE, was an award-winning film editor whose work included Errol Morris’ The Fog of War (Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary), Mr. Death, and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. She edited Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack, The Same River Twice, My Father the Genius, and American Experience: A Brilliant Madness. Her fiction film American Son premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For the HBO film Sergio, Karen won the Best Editing Award at Sundance in 2009. Karen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended Boston University. On her way home from editing Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against the World, Karen was struck and killed by a car fleeing a robbery in New York City on January 29, 2010.

AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE) is an honorary association of professional film editors that celebrates & promotes the art of editing. Editors are included on the basis of professional achievement, dedication to educating others, and commitment to the craft of editing.

2017 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO LEIGH JOHNSON

 
Leigh Johnson (Photo by Tanya Braganti)

Leigh Johnson (Photo by Tanya Braganti)

 

We're delighted to announce that Leigh Johnson is our 2017 fellow! Leigh is an incredibly talented emerging editor who has impressed us with her passion for the craft, her thoughtful approach to the creative process and her love of collaboration. She’s deeply interested in exploring the ways in which people experience the world, just as Karen Schmeer was. Her sensitive and artful work as an editor on Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus took our breath away. She will receive the fellowship on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at the SXSW Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas.

 
Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus

 

Garret Savage, Schmeer Fellowship Board President said, “Leigh has a really strong work ethic and an intuitive storytelling sense. And in recent years she’s dedicated herself to learning about documentary art and craft by attending panels, meetups and screenings. We love that! We’re eager to support her efforts to become a better editor and help push her career to the next level."

Leigh is thrilled to receive the fellowship and said, "For years I’ve admired not only the work of Karen Schmeer and the fellows honored in her memory, but also the passion and dedication of her friends. Through this fellowship, they embody a generosity of spirit that I’ve noticed and benefited from again and again in the documentary community. This kind of generosity is as humbling as it is inspiring, and a poignantly fitting way to keep Karen’s memory alive. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and excited for new mentors, new projects, and new learning experiences in the coming year!"

Leigh’s mentors for the year will be Penelope Falk (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Step), Maya Mumma (O.J.: Made in America, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown), and Geoffrey Richman, ACE (Murderball, The Cove). Read more about them here.

ABOUT LEIGH AND HER WORK

Leigh, who has worked in film and TV for eight years, didn’t set out to be an editor. In fact, she graduated with a degree in Neuroscience & Behavior from Vassar College and taught English in rural Japan for two years. During this time, she was teaching herself how to use Final Cut Pro as a creative outlet, and eventually decided to move to New York to pursue a career in editing. She wasn't sure how to break in, but quickly found a few internships that led to assistant work, including a stint at The Onion's video department.

From those internships came an opportunity to join the team of the feature documentary The Lottery, to help with post-production and the theatrical release. The film, directed by Madeleine Sackler, made the Oscar shortlist. Years later, when Sackler began her Dangerous Acts film, she hired Johnson as an associate producer. Leigh also began cutting the dailies as they came in. Eventually she was promoted to a shared editor role and earned her first feature documentary editing credit. The critically acclaimed HBO film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, won festival awards, and an Emmy for Outstanding Arts and Culture Programming.
 
Anne Barliant, her co-editor on Dangerous Acts, can’t imagine a better recipient for the Schmeer Fellowship and remarked, “Leigh has an incredible instinct for wringing great emotional meaning from simple juxtapositions. But her deep sense of responsibility for empathetically representing the subjects of our film is what truly impressed me.”
 
She’s currently working with Madeleine Sackler again on a unique documentary that blends animation and live action footage. It will be released in late 2017.

In addition to collaborating with directors to birth films into the world, Leigh works as a part-time doula. She resides in Piermont, New York.

Today PBS's POV Documentary Blog is publishing "Entering the Edit with Karen Schmeer Fellow Leigh Johnson", a short interview with Leigh about her process and her goals for the fellowship. She'll be publishing a series of blog entries throughout the year.

SUNDANCE 2017: THE ART OF EDITING LUNCH WITH LEWIS ERSKINE

Lewis Erskine speaks at the Karen Schmeer Fellowship’s Art of Editing Lunch at the 2017 Festival. © Sundance Institute | Max Spooner

Lewis Erskine speaks at the Karen Schmeer Fellowship’s Art of Editing Lunch at the 2017 Festival. © Sundance Institute | Max Spooner

In his keynote at this year's Sundance Art of Editing lunch, Lewis Erskine urged editors and decision makers to “Examine your privilege. Question it constantly... If you’re in the [decision making] room, take the risk of being the disruptor.” It was an extraordinary call to action and is now posted on the Sundance website. Please read it and share. We at the Schmeer Fellowship were proud to co-host the event with the Sundance Institute.

Read his full speech here.

OPEN CALL ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2017 KAREN SCHMEER FELLOWSHIP

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship open call for its seventh annual award will run August 3, 2016 through September 30, 2016.

Applicants must have edited at least one feature documentary (60 minutes or longer) but no more than three and plan on living in the US between March 2017 and March 2018. 

The fellowship assists emerging documentary editors by developing their talent, expanding their creative community, and furthering their career aspirations. In conjunction with American Cinema Editors (ACE), Manhattan Edit Workshop, SXSW, the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and other partners, the fellowship offers a wide array of opportunities. 

Awarded once a year, the fellowship honors the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer (The Fog of War; Fast, Cheap & Out of Control; Bobby Fischer Against the World), who was killed in a hit-and-run at the age 39, on January 29, 2010.

The 2017 fellow will join an accomplished group of previous recipients. Anna Gustavi’s Seymour: An Introduction premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was distributed by IFC Films; Colin Nusbaum’s Tough Love, premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and screened as part of PBS' POV series; and Eileen Meyer co-edited Best of Enemies, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. After receiving their fellowships, Jim Hession was hired to edit Rich Hill, which won the Sundance U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize; Lindsay Utz cut In Country, which premiered at the 2014 Full Frame Festival; and Erin Casper edited American Promise, which won the Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award.

Our application guide and FAQ can be found here.

The 2017-18 fellowship benefits include: Mentorship with veteran editors; pass, badge and/or admission to: ACE EditFest Los Angeles, SXSW Film Festival, IFFBoston, Manhattan Edit Workshop’s Sight, Sound & Story summit, the KSFEF/Sundance Institute’s Contemplating the Cut workshop, Rooftop Films, Stranger than Fiction, IDA’s Getting Real conference, and the Camden International Film Festival; travel, accommodations and per diem to two of the aforementioned events; a credential to the Sundance Film Festival; an IDA one-year membership; an ACE “special” membership; a $1000 cash award; a $250 gift certificate at Powell’s Books; a portrait session with a professional photographer; and a DVD collection of all 12 of Karen’s films.

KAREN SCHMEER, A.C.E., was an award-winning film editor whose work included Errol Morris’ The Fog of War (Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary), Mr. Death, and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. She edited Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack, The Same River TwiceMy Father the Genius, and American Experience: A Brilliant Madness. Her fiction film American Son premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For the HBO film Sergio, Karen won the Best Editing Award at Sundance in 2009. Karen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended Boston University. On her way home from editing Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against the World, Karen was struck and killed by a car fleeing a robbery in New York City on January 29, 2010.

AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE) is an honorary association of professional film editors that celebrates & promotes the art of editing. Editors are included on the basis of professional achievement, dedication to educating others, and commitment to the craft of editing.

2016 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO EILEEN MEYER

 
Eileen Meyer (Photo by Claire Marie Vogel)

Eileen Meyer (Photo by Claire Marie Vogel)

 

We're excited to announce that Eileen Meyer is our 2016 fellow! Eileen impressed us with her her confident spirit, strong work ethic, and the ways in which she has been pushing herself to new professional heights. We also loved her playful and insightful editorial style in her work as an editor of Best of Enemies , a documentary about ideological opposites William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal as they hold a series of riveting, nationally televised debates that usher in a new era of public discourse and pundit TV. She will receive the fellowship on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the SXSW Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas.

 
BEST OF ENEMIES / MAGNOLIA PICTURES

BEST OF ENEMIES / MAGNOLIA PICTURES

 

Garret Savage, Schmeer Fellowship Board President says, “Eileen is a talented rising editor whose interest in subject matter ranges from social justice issues to music docs. She’s a team player who loves collaborating with her co-editors and directors. We look forward to expanding her community and connecting her to inspiring mentors as she forges her career path and furthers her editing style.”

Eileen is deeply honored to be the sixth recipient of the fellowship and says, “Karen’s work has been inspiring to me in numerous and surprising ways, and it is humbling to join such an incredible group of past fellows. I just want to say thank you to Karen’s amazing group of friends who have created this opportunity in the face of such a tragedy. It is a true testament to her spirit and the effect she had on the people who knew her and the world, that her legacy will be carried on by generations of editors to come. I am looking forward to learning, sharing and collaborating — and to an amazing year ahead!”

Eileen’s mentors for the year will be Greg Finton, ACE (He Named Me Malala, Waiting for Superman); Pedro Kos (The Square, Waste Land); and Kim Roberts, ACE (The Hunting Ground, Food, Inc.).

ABOUT EILEEN AND HER WORK

Eileen graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in film. One of her first jobs was as an intern for Simon and Goodman Picture Company in New York City. They noticed her dedication and quickly promoted her to be the assistant editor for Rehearsing a Dream, a short film edited by Nancy Baker (Streetwise, Born into Brothels), which went on to win an Oscar nomination. Working with the veteran editor had a powerful effect on Eileen and it helped her make up her mind up to become a documentary editor.

By 2006 she was living in Memphis and working as an editor on documentaries and narratives for a small but vibrant community of filmmakers including Robert Gordon (who she would later work with on Best of Enemies), Brian Pera (Only Child) and Alan Spearman ($5 Cover: Amplified).

Seven years later, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on a variety of projects including narrative films, but was eventually compelled to return to her roots in documentary. Her first feature documentary editing job was as an editor of Best of Enemies (dirs. Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon), which premiered in the U.S. Documentary competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for Best Documentary at the Spirit Awards, shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and nominated for the Cinema Eye Honor for Best Editing.

She’s currently editing State and Union (working title, dirs Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer), a feature documentary that follows three lesbian families in Alabama whose stories exemplify the challenges that still remain in the fight for full LGBTQ equality.

Eileen’s collaborators are quick to praise her. Robert Gordon, co-director of Best of Enemies, has worked with Meyer off and on for 10 years and says that Meyer “has an empathetic intuitiveness that is rare in humans and, if it could be taught, might bring about world peace—as well as better films.” And Meyer's co-editor on Best of Enemies, Aaron Wickenden, noted that her "love and respect for the characters in our film allowed the audience to tap this feeling as well. It’s fair to attribute the success of the film in large part to this energy that Eileen manifested."

Today, PBS' POV Documentary Blog is publishing "Entering the Edit with Karen Schmeer Fellow Eileen Meyer," an interview with Eileen about her process and her goals for the fellowship

Eileen, who lives in Los Angeles, loves working at her home studio next to her two rescue mutts, Jim and Macy. She's on Twitter: @eileeneditor and Instagram: @eileenmmmm

JIM AND MACY

JIM AND MACY

SUNDANCE 2016: THE ART OF EDITING LUNCH WITH KATE AMEND

"OUR ART IS SOMETIMES CALLED INVISIBLE": KATE AMEND ON THE ART OF EDITING

"OUR ART IS SOMETIMES CALLED INVISIBLE": KATE AMEND ON THE ART OF EDITING

At this year's Sundance Film Festival, documentary editing legend Kate Amend gave an inspiring keynote speech at the Art of Editing Lunch co-hosted by Sundance Institute and the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. It was a funny, wise, instructive and heartfelt speech about her life as an artist, the role of an editor and her journey through the ranks of the industry. 

Read her speech here.

DOC NYC EDITING MASTERCLASS

DOC NYC EDITING MASTERCLASS
Co-presented by the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship
Sunday, November 15 at 11:30am
Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

What do documentary editors do to bring a story to life? Esteemed documentary editors Karen K.H. Sim (Watchers of the Sky, Back on Board: Greg Louganis) and Fiona Otway (Hell and Back Again, Iraq In Fragments) share storytelling secrets as they review favorite scenes from their own work. Moderator, Oscar-nominated Jeanne Jordan (Troublesome Creek, Raising Renee).

More information / TicketsFull festival lineup

OPEN CALL ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2016 KAREN SCHMEER FELLOWSHIP

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship is accepting applications for its sixth annual award now through September 30, 2015.

Applicants must have edited at least one feature documentary (60 minutes or longer) but no more than three and plan on living in the US between March 2016 and March 2017. 

The fellowship assists emerging documentary editors by developing their talent, expanding their creative community, and furthering their career aspirations. In conjunction with American Cinema Editors (ACE), Manhattan Edit Workshop, SXSW and other partners, the fellowship offers a wide array of opportunities. 

Awarded once a year, the fellowship honors the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer (The Fog of War; Fast, Cheap & Out of Control; Bobby Fischer Against the World), who was killed in a hit-and-run car accident at age 39, on January 29, 2010.

Current and previous fellows have made impressive achievements in their field: Tough Love, edited by our 2014 fellow, Colin Nusbaum (The Sheik and I), premiered at Full Frame and Hot Docs, and had its television premiere last month on PBS' POV series. As a result of the increased profile our 2013 Fellowship gave him, Jim Hession (Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present) was hired to edit Rich Hill, which went on to win Sundance's 2014 U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize.  2012 Fellow Lindsay Utz's (Bully) second feature, In Country, participated in the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and enjoyed its world premiere at the 2014 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Since receiving the inaugural 2011 Schmeer Fellowship, Erin Casper (Our School) has been prolific, editing American Promise (2013 Sundance U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award), The New Black (2013 AFI Docs Audience Award) and The Last Season (2015 Spirit Award nominee). Our current fellow, Anna Gustavi, edited Seymour: An Introduction (Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, distributed by IFC Films) and is currently working on Carol Dysinger’s One Bullet, Afghanistan.

Our application guide and FAQ can be found here.

The 2016 Fellowship benefits include:

• EDITOR MENTORSHIP — with guidance from American Cinema Editors (ACE), the Fellow will be given a mentorship with an established editor or editors who fit the Fellow’s interests.

ACE EDITFEST LA — the Fellow will receive admission to Edit Fest LA (August, 2016); a seminar event featuring working experts in the field of editing.

MANHATTAN EDIT WORKSHOP CLASS — free class at New York City’s Manhattan Edit Workshop; an Apple, Adobe & Avid Authorized editing and training facility.

SXSW FESTIVAL FILM BADGE — full access to films, panels, mentor sessions and more at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

IFFBOSTON FESTIVAL CHROME PASS — full access to films, panels and more at the Independent Film Festival Boston.

MANHATTAN EDIT WORKSHOP’S “SIGHT, SOUND & STORY” EVENT — admission to a day-long seminar with editing professionals.

• TRAVEL EXPENSES / ACCOMMODATIONS — the fellow will be provided with 3 nights accommodations, airfare and per diem to two of the events/classes above, based on the fellow’s preference

ROOFTOP FILMS SUMMER SERIES TRIPLE MEMBERSHIP & $1000 EQUIPMENT RENTAL — complimentary pass for the fellow and two guests to all regularly priced Summer Series shows at New York’s long-running outdoor film festival, plus an equipment rental credit for up to $1000 for projector, sound system, screen, etc.

STRANGER THAN FICTION PASS — a season pass to the Stranger Than Fiction documentary film series at New York City’s IFC Center.

• $1000 CASH AWARD

$250 POWELL’S BOOKS ONLINE GIFT CERTIFICATE — an online gift certificate to Powell’s Books (Karen’s favorite), based in Portland, Oregon.

• TANYA BRAGANTI PHOTOGRAPHY PORTRAIT SESSION

• DVD COLLECTION OF ALL 13 OF KAREN'S FEATURE FILMS

KAREN SCHMEER, A.C.E., was an award-winning film editor whose work included Errol Morris’ The Fog of War (Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary), Mr. Death, and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. She edited Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack, The Same River TwiceMy Father the Genius, and American Experience: A Brilliant Madness. Her fiction film American Son premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For the HBO film Sergio, Karen won the Best Editing Award at Sundance in 2009. Karen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended Boston University. On her way home from editing Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against the World, Karen was struck and killed by a car fleeing a robbery in New York City on January 29, 2010.

AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE) is an honorary association of professional film editors that celebrates & promotes the art of editing. Editors are included on the basis of professional achievement, dedication to educating others, and commitment to the craft of editing.

2015 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO ANNA GUSTAVI

 
 

Anna Gustavi (photo by Tanya Braganti)

 

We're excited to announce that Anna Gustavi is our 2015 fellow!  She captured the screening committee members’ hearts and minds on many levels, including her self-described "sense of responsibility" to the sounds and images she assembles, her keen interest in learning from other editors and filmmakers, and her sensitive portrayal of pianist Seymour Bernstein in the feature documentary Seymour: An Introduction. She will officially receive the fellowship on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the SXSW Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas.

"It’s so fitting to present our fifth annual award to Anna," says Garret Savage, Schmeer Fellowship Board President. "Having discovered film through a fine arts education instead of film school, Anna has followed a unique career trajectory, as did Karen, who studied anthropology and photography before editing for Errol Morris. While Anna has only completed one feature documentary, she has already demonstrated an innate sense of rhythm and emotion along with a natural instinct for stellar storytelling.”

Anna is elated about receiving the fellowship, “I have a deep admiration for Karen’s style, sensibility and craft. And the fellowship, in the way that it helps emerging editors, is a great tribute to her legacy. I’m very honored and humbled to join an accomplished line of previous fellows. I’m looking forward to experiencing all that the fellowship has to offer, especially to humbly receive mentorship from skilled editors whose work I admire.”

Anna’s mentors for the year will be Bob Eisenhardt, A.C.E. (Meru, Valentino: The Last Emperor); Matthew Hamachek (Cartel Land, If a Tree Falls); and Toby Shimin (Buck, How to Dance in Ohio).

About Anna and her work

Anna grew up in Sweden where, in art school, she was drawn to the boundary-pushing work of experimental film and video artists. Frustrated by the lack of attention paid to the craft of filmmaking in the art world, she self-taught through books, screenings and trial and error. In 2006, she moved to New York where she got a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and learned that films can successfully straddle the worlds of the gallery and the movie theater. Anna has approached her work from that point of view ever since.

Seymour Bernstein in Seymour: An Introduction.

In the midst of interning and working on friends’ projects, a career break came in 2013 when Anna was given the opportunity to cut a sample trailer for what became the feature documentary, Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke, dir.). Her excellent editing led Room 5 Films to hire Anna as the film’s editor. Greg Loser, producer of Seymour, praises Anna as a “bright, hard working filmmaker who’s driven by artistic, rather than career-minded, principles. She’s adept at balancing storytelling with moments of grace and poetry.” This is evident in the film’s success: it had its world premiere at Telluride, received glowing reviews, and went on to screen at the Toronto and New York film festivals. Seymour: An Introduction will be released theatrically this Friday, March 13 in New York City by IFC Films followed by a wider release on March 20.

KSFEF AND THE SUNDANCE INSTITUTE HOST THE FIRST EVER EDITOR'S BRUNCH AT THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Today the Sundance Institute and the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship hosted the inaugural gathering of fiction and non-fiction editors at the Sundance Film Festival's Art of Editing Brunch, where we announced a new partnership between the Documentary Film Program partnership and the Fellowship, highlighted this year's Sally Menke Editing Fellow and celebrated the achievements of all editors premiering work at Sundance. 

Editor Joe Bini (Grizzly Man, We Need to Talk About Kevin) gave the keynote address, including a hilarious and all too true "cautionary allegorical fable" about what it's like to be an editor. It's called "The Serf." His full speech be read here.

Watch the clip reel of Karen's work featured at today's brunch, edited by Daniel Jamieson of Manhattan Edit Workshop:

 
 

2014 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO COLIN NUSBAUM

                                                                                                                     Colin Nusbaum (photo by Tanya Braganti)

                                                                                                                     Colin Nusbaum (photo by Tanya Braganti)

Colin Nusbaum is our 2014 Fellow! The selection committee was struck by Colin’s intelligence, humility, love of collaboration, passion for non-fiction storytelling and his excellent work as co-editor of the feature documentary, The Sheik and I. He will formally receive the Fellowship on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at the SXSW Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas.

Board President Garret Savage, who oversaw the selection committee, praised Colin and his qualifications: “We were really impressed by the caliber of our applicants, as we have been for the past four years. But Colin stood out as an especially adept editor and a perceptive problem-solver. Plus, his collaborators testified to what a special person he is to work with. We can’t wait to help him in the next phase of his young career.”

Colin is thrilled about the honor. “The validation and opportunity that this fellowship provides is prodigious,” he says. “While I don’t aim to or think I can fill the shoes of Karen, I will certainly look to her approach, professionalism and her heart as a guide. Similarly, I hope to follow in the path of past fellows who are proving themselves amazing editors on award-winning films.” Read about more of Colin's thoughts on the Fellowship, stories worth telling, and Karen in his first Fellowship blog entry.

Colin's editing mentors will be Jean Tsien, ACE (Drivers Wanted, Please Vote for Me); Jonathan Oppenheim (Paris is Burning, The Oath); and David Teague (Cutie and the Boxer, E-TEAM).

ABOUT COLIN AND HIS WORK

Colin, originally from Toledo, Ohio, was inspired to pursue filmmaking after taking a tour of the International Red Cross museum in Switzerland. He saw that although the Red Cross lacks military might or binding power, they can change minds and incite action based on the stories they tell about people's lives. When he returned home, he delved into watching documentaries and working on independent films.

From The Sheik and I.

From The Sheik and I.

When Colin moved to New York in 2008, he worked as a research and production intern on Liz Garbus’s HBO film, Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech. Since then he’s worked in a variety of roles, but none captured his attention like editing. Colin says he is “drawn to the subtle artistry of editing, where small alterations of timing, sequence, and character revelations can wholly change the experience of the audience.”

He got a big break in 2010 when he was hired to shoot Caveh Zahedi’s documentary The Sheik and I in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to their daytime roles, Nusbaum and the crew shared the task of editing down of the massive amount of dailies at night. Caveh says, “It quickly became apparent that Colin’s scenes were not only the best ones, but better than what I myself could have done.” Back in New York, Zahedi hired him to co-edit the film with him and now says that Colin “has a sense of pacing, of economy, and of the poetry of a scene that is extraordinary. He’s the most naturally gifted editor I have ever had the pleasure to work with in my 30-plus years of filmmaking. He’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

From Tough Love.

From Tough Love.

Colin's latest editing credit is the feature documentary Tough Love, directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, which premieres at a Full Frame next month. Stephanie says, “Colin was a magician in the edit room. He was able to make elements appear and disappear so elegantly that you forgot you had watched the scene 15 different times already. His sense of humor and character brought great energy to the edit room and editing process.”

In case you were wondering (we were!), in the edit room Colin devours raw almonds and drinks a lot of tea. He lives in Brooklyn.

JIM HESSION INTERVIEWED BY CULTURAL WEEKLY

Cultural Weekly ran an extensive (and awesome) interview with Jim Hession about the process of cutting Rich Hill.

At one point, writer Sophia Stein asks Jim, "How were you introduced to directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo for the first time and invited to collaborate on 'RICH HILL'?"

Jim replies, "I received the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship Award at the beginning of 2013, which generated some nice press. I believe that’s how Tracy and Andrew heard my name."

Well, we're awfully proud of Jim and are please to know that we helped him get hired on a great film. That's a big part of our mission!

Click here to read the entire interview.

rich hill still_14.jpg

IFFBOSTON PANEL: "THE ART OF DOCUMENTARY EDITING: CASE STUDIES"

The Fellowship is presenting a panel at this weekend's Independent Film Festival of Boston entitled "The Art of Documentary Editing: Case Studies" Panelists will be Francisco Bello ("Our Nixon" and "Best Kept Secret") and Pola Rapaport ("Here One Day"). We'll be comparing scenes as they were in the rough cut with how they look in the final cut. The panel, moderated by Garret Savage, will be at 3:30 on Saturday, April 27 at The Somerville Theater. Tickets are free and first-come-first-served. Last year we sold out. For more info click here.

DSC_9637.JPG

FRANCISCO BELLO (Panelist) is an OSCAR® and three time Emmy nominee. He launched Ropa Vieja Films in 2007 with "Salim Baba" (HBO, Canal+, EBS), which he shot and produced in Kolkata, India. "Salim Baba" has screened in over 100 festivals worldwide including Sundance, Telluride, IDFA, and Tribeca. In 2008 "Salim Baba" was Nominated for a Best Short Documentary OSCAR®, followed by a News & Documentary Emmy Nomination in 2009. His directorial debut commissioned by HBO Documentary Films was "El Espíritu de la Salsa," which premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Francisco produced and edited "War Don Don," which won the Special Jury prize at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and the first annual IFFB Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing. "War Don Don" received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Coverage of a News Story and Outstanding Editing. Most recently, he edited the films "Our Nixon," "Best KEpt Secret," and is co-directing "Dreaming Against the World" (formerly titled "Mu Xin: Notes from the Underground) all due for release in 2013.

Pola in Toronto_cropped.jpg

POLA RAPAPORT (Panelist) is a writer, director, and editor of many award winning films. Her work includes "Subway: The Musical" (a work-in-progress feature documentary), "Hair: Let the Sun Shine In," the definitive documentary on the phenomenal Broadway musical; "Writer of O," a portrait of the elusive author of the erotic novel Story of O; "Family Secret," the story of the filmmaker's search into her father’s secretive life and of the discovery of her secret Romanian brother; "Blind Light," a story of a photographer’s peak experience in a villa in Italy, starring the star of “The Sopranos," Edie Falco; and "Broken Meat," a portrait of the mad poet Alan Granville (Sundance Film Festival doc competition). She is the editor of several feature documentaries, including Kathy Leichter's “Here One Day," the award-winning “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts," "Aug Wiedersehen," and "Fine Rain," as well as editor of several successful fundraising promos and short documentary pieces. She was a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, a sound editing Emmy nominee and winner of numerous grants & awards. Pola is Married to DP Wolfgang Held, with whom she has often collaborated. She is a graduate of the Institute of Film and Television at New York University.

GARRET SAVAGE (Moderator) is an editor and producer based in Brooklyn. His documentary editing credits include the Peabody Award-winning “My Perestroika,” HBO's “How Democracy Works Now” series, “Ready, Set, Bag!” (LA Film Festival), and IFC's “4-Cylinder 400.” He was an associate producer of the Emmy-nominated feature documentary “Pressure Cooker” (Participant Films). He has enjoyed working for Paramount Pictures, ABC/ESPN, Discovery, IFC, AMC, MTV, and more. Garret was a 2009 Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow. He was the Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival’s Teen View Film Lab and is a founder and Board President of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship.

2013 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO JIM HESSION

                                                                                                                   photo ©Tanya Braganti

                                                                                                                   photo ©Tanya Braganti

In a year featuring many strong applicants who were deserving of recognition, Jim Hession ("Hesh-uhn") impressed us with his intelligence, integrity, sense of humor and the exceptional editing talent he displayed in his role as co-editor of the acclaimed feature documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present. We look forward to helping him by creating opportunities for him to grow creatively and expand his professional community.

Jim will officially receive the thrid annual Fellowship on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the SXSW Film Festival Award Ceremony in Austin, Texas. We hope you get a chance to meet him soon.

Born in New York City and raised in Northampton, Massachusetts, Jim has worked in film and television for the last 10 years. He graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University, where his interest in documentary film was first piqued after enrolling in an "experimental journalism" course.

"Our first assignment was to watch Fast, Cheap and Out of Control," remembers Jim. "And our second assignment was to watch Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Of course, both of these films were edited by Karen, and I can honestly say that if I had never seen them, I may not have pursued a career in film."

After graduating, Jim first worked as an assistant editor at Scout Productions in Boston, Massachusetts. He soon moved to New York City, where he began assisting on various HBO productions for a number of documentary editors, including Juliet Weber and Geof Bartz, A.C.E. In 2008, the production company Show of Force hired Jim as an associate editor on CIRCUS, a 6-part documentary series that premiered on PBS in early 2010. Following the project's completion, he remained with Show of Force, editing numerous commercials, web videos, trailers, and industrial documentaries before being asked to edit Marina alongside editor E. Donna Shepherd.

Jim's favorite edit room snacks are pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds and Gummy Bears. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Mariela, and their daughter, Isabella Rose.

“I am both thrilled and honored to represent the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship as this year's fellow,” Jim says. “Karen’s work has been enormously influential in my life, and it is consequently very sobering for me to have been granted the opportunity to play a small role in helping keep her memory alive.” Read more from Jim in his first blog entry here.

The year-long Fellowship is designed to foster the development of an emerging film editor by creating opportunities for him or her to grow creatively and expand his or her professional community. The experience includes mentorship opportunities, passes to film festivals and screening series, a $1000 cash award, and a $250 gift certificate to Portland’s Powell’s Books (Karen’s favorite bookstore).

"Karen carried her immense talents, creativity and intelligence with remarkable humility and open-minded generosity," said Ellie Lee, a founding Board Member of the Fellowship and a close friend of Karen. "She treated her films with the same care as she did her friends and complete strangers: with deep empathy, humor and kindheartedness. I was, and still am, amazed at how, despite how busy she was, she always tried to make time to help young editors and aspiring directors. We're honored to carry her legacy with this annual Fellowship in her memory."

The KSFEF Board Members would like to thank all of the individuals and companies who have generously contributed funds and institutional support to make the Fellowship possible.