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.