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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