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.



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.