INAUGURAL KSFEF DIVERSITY IN THE EDIT ROOM PROGRAM LAUNCHES

Provides Mentorship to 29 Editors from a Variety of Backgrounds and Experiences

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We've launched a new initiative called the Diversity in the Edit Room Program. It is designed to cultivate the careers of emerging assistant editors and editors from diverse backgrounds and experiences working in the documentary field. Twenty-nine talented mentees have been selected for this inaugural year.

The mentees are Claire Ave'Lallemant, Faisal Azam, Samali Bikangaga, Mitra Bonshahi, Bryan Chang, Winnie Cheung, Hannah Choe, Andrea Cruz, Diana Diroy, Steven Golliday, Shilpi Gupta, Princess Hairston, Mary Kerr, Ephraim Kirkwood, Ellen Knechel, Blair McClendon, Grace Mendenhall, Margaret Metzger, Luis Ortiz-Guillen, Samin Pogoff, Daniela Quiroz, Pilar Rico, Carlos Rojas, Ligaiya Romero, Jessica Lee Salas, Rosie Walunas, Luna X Moya, Eugene Yi, and Anita Hei-Man Yu.

Their mentors are Geof Bartz, Erin Casper, Geeta Gandbhir, Carla Gutierrez, Mary Manhardt, Maya Mumma, and Aljernon Tunsil. Bios for all mentees and mentors can be found on our website. Please read them--it's a fantastic group!

“We’re excited to extend the reach of our organization by supporting these talented assistant editors and editors with mentorship and public recognition,” says Ann Kim, KSFEF Founding Board member and Diversity Committee Co-Chair. “We believe that diversity is fundamental to the work we do as storytellers. It informs the stories we tell, the creative approaches we take, and the way we collaborate. In short, diversity makes us better storytellers and elevates the field itself.”

Garret Savage, KSFEF Founding Board member and Diversity Committee Co-Chair, adds, “We’d like to acknowledge American Cinema Editor’s Diversity Mentorship Program, headed by Troy Takaki and Mark Yoshikawa, as an inspiration and model for ours and thank Troy and Mark for their guidance.”

The mentors and mentees will come together for small group meetings in New York City once a month for a year to discuss creative and business aspects of the documentary editor’s career. Each mentee will receive a DCTV membership and DCTV Presents season pass.

The inaugural mentees were identified through nominations and then invited to apply. They are men and women who come from a range of backgrounds, identities and experiences, including those facing discrimination and barriers due to race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic background, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
 
The launch party, held on April 23 in New York City, was sponsored by program partners DCTV and A&E IndieFilms. Photography was donated by Ted Willis. Guests included diversity mentees and mentors, past and present Schmeer Fellows and mentors, representatives from partner organizations, and members of the documentary community.

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2018 FELLOWSHIP AWARDED TO KRISTIN BYE

 
   
  
   
  
    
  
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  KRISTIN BYE (PHOTO BY ROBIN HESSMAN)

KRISTIN BYE (PHOTO BY ROBIN HESSMAN)

 
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We’re excited to announce that Kristin Bye is our 2018 fellow! Kristin is a naturally talented editor who combines an artistic approach to storytelling with an uncommon sensitivity to the human condition. These talents are apparent in her first feature documentary, Obit, a charming, eloquent and poignant look at the process of writing obituaries for The New York Times. In addition to her technical and creative strengths, her humble, cheerful and energetic personality makes her a valuable collaborator. We look forward to supporting Kristin as she advances in her career and finds her voice as an artist.

Kristin will receive the fellowship on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the SXSW Film Awards Ceremony in Austin, Texas.

Kristin said she is “delighted, honored and humbled to have been chosen as this year’s Karen Schmeer Fellow. I’ve long admired Karen’s approach to editing which feels, to me, like a celebration of humanity in all of its complexity. This generosity of spirit is so refreshing. It speaks volumes that Karen’s friends and peers have found a way to honor her memory so beautifully, while also giving a boost to the editing community as a whole. I feel lucky to be welcomed into such a supportive community and look forward to a year of mentorship, listening, learning, sharing and growth.”

Kristin’s mentors for the year will be Sabine Krayenbühl (The Price of EverythingLetters from Baghdad), Michael Levine (RestrepoThe Cruise), and Enat Sidi (Jesus CampThe Wolfpack).

ABOUT KRISTIN AND HER WORK

 Still from  OBIT ,  courtesy of BEN WOLF

Still from OBIT,  courtesy of BEN WOLF

Kristin Bye grew up in Tacoma, Washington. She went to art school first in France, then at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. For 10 years, she co-owned and operated a design studio based in Portland, Oregon. While running the studio, she took film classes at NW Film Center, NYU, SVA and The Edit Center. Those experiences led to working with designer-turned-filmmaker Hillman Curtis on many of his short films, and assistant editing on his David Byrne concert film, Ride, Rise, Roar (SXSW 2010).

Vanessa Gould, the director of Obit, is eager for the world to witness Bye’s talents and tells us that “Kristin has the eye of a mature artist, with a gift for form, composition, tempo, mood, color and music. She finds beautiful ways of layering these concepts throughout her work.

SUNDANCE 2018: THE ART OF EDITING RECEPTION WITH PEDRO KOS

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At last Tuesday's annual Sundance Film Festival Art of Editing Reception, Editor Jean Tsien was presented with the Mentorship Award. The list of stories of her generosity and the encouragement she has given to other editors was too long to share in its entirety on stage. She is an inspiration to us all.

Editor/Director Pedro Kos delivered a heartfelt and bracingly honest keynote which addressed the creativity-killing pressures editors face in today's documentary making environment. HIs full speech is here. Please read and share widely! He is speaking to editors, directors, producers, and to the field as a whole. Thank you, Pedro!

As always, it was a pleasure for us to co-host the event with Kristin Feeley and the Sundance Institute DFP.

Read Pedro's keynote speech on on the "Art of Editing and Escaping the Creative Doldrums" here.

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.

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