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Praise Spread From Interns To Masters At 2017 Eddie Awards

Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE. The two have collaborated for over 50 years. Photo credit: Matt Beirne

The 2017 American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Awards had the distinction of recognizing two of its past interns with their first Eddie nomination: Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon, the team behind “Moonlight.”  Before kicking off the event with the presentation of the Heritage Award to the founders of the internship program, the org’s new president (and a past Eddie winner) Stephen Rivkin, ACE, welcomed the crowd by reminding them many notable luminaries got their start through collaborations with ACE.

“In 1951, Ronald Regan hosted the first round table event,” said Rivkin.  “You never know what (your involvement) in an ACE event can do for your career.”

Lori Jane Coleman, ACE, Diana Friedberg, ACE and William Gordean, ACE received the Heritage Award for their dedication to the internship program; an opportunity that has allowed young, talented editors to receive hands-on experience in the cutting room.  Recently retired after fifty successful years as an editor Friedberg recalled immigrating to America in the 60s with little more than two flatbeds because “editing was my dream.”  She was proud to have been able to not only provide opportunities for young editors looking to break into the system, but allow the legacy of excellence in editing to continue through the internship’s educational opportunity.

Career Achievement Award recipient Janet Ashikaga, ACE was recognized for her body of work that includes “Seinfeld”, “The West Wing”, “Criminal Minds” and “Frasier.”  Upon presenting Ashikaga with her award, producer Thomas Schlamme credited Ashikaga for having not only tremendous skill but a gentle patience allowing her to wrangle the needs of some of the industry’s most particular minds.

“Janet has spent hundreds of hours in a windowless room with Larry David, Andrew Sorkin and me,” Said Schlamme.  “She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.”

Ashikaga jokingly sited her New York-based dysfunctional family for giving her all the tools she needed to handle the demands of television.  Before leaving the stage, she credited the show runners, directors and producers of the ground-breaking series she was able to work on.

“We always treated each other with dignity and respect,” said Ashikaga.

Martin Scorsese was on hand to present Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE, the Career Achievement Award for her contributions to film.  The duo are behind films including “Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas” and the Oscar-winning “The Departed.”  Scorsese described their processes as living together in the film’s universe.  Noting his subject matter leans towards the darker side of humanity, he claimed that universe was not always a pleasant place to be.

“I can’t explain it.  It’s what we do, and pretty much it’s nobody’s business,” said Scorsese.  “She is fierce and supportive.”

Upon receiving the award, Schoonmaker revealed she had no interest in editing when she began her career.  Instead, she had her sights set on entering the Foreign Service after graduating from college.  She stated she was blessed to work with Scorsese, a  director she feels sees filmmaking like an editor and provides footage to her with editing in mind.  She also noted it was a privilege to be given such an esteemed honor by her peers.

“I can’t believe at my age I am still working on such ground-breaking films, and I can’t wait for the next one to start.”

After professing his love for Scorsese, Golden Eddie Award winner J.J. Abrams shared a childhood memory that would ultimately dictate his respect for the editing process.  He revealed that, as a 14 year-old, his father took him to a private screening of “Escape from L.A.”  Father and son shared comments with John Carpenter that ultimately were included in the theatrical release.  The experience allowed him to witness one of his idols working with an editor to enhance the value of the film’s storytelling.

“When I was asked to come receive this award, I initially said no,” said Abrams.  “But I am honored to be here, standing before some of the greatest artists of our business and say thank you.”

The winners of the 2017 ACE Eddie Awards are as follows:

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC):
Arrival
Joe Walker, ACE

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY):
La La Land
Tom Cross, ACE

BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
Zootopia
Fabienne Rawley & Jeremy Milton

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE):
O.J.: Made in America
Bret Granato, Maya Mumma & Ben Sozanski

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (TELEVISION):
Everything Is Copy – Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted
Bob Eisenhardt, ACE

BEST EDITED HALF-HOUR SERIES FOR TELEVISION:
Veep: “Morning After”
Steven Rasch, ACE

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:
This is Us: “Pilot”
David L. Bertman, ACE

BEST EDITED ONE-HOUR SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION:
Game of Thrones: “Battle of the Bastards”
Tim Porter, ACE

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR TELEVISION:
All the Way
Carol Littleton, ACE

BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES:
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: “Senegal”
Mustafa Bhagat

STUDENT COMPETITION:
Tommy Wakefield  – University of North Carolina, School of the Arts