'Arrival,' 'La La Land' Top American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards

11:29 PM 1/27/2017

by Carolyn Giardina

'Zootopia' was named best edited animated feature.

'La La Land'
'La La Land'
Courtesy of Dale Robinette/Lionsgate

Arrival editor Joe Walker and La La Land editor Tom Cross won top honors at the American Cinema Editors’ 67th annual Eddie Awards on Friday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Arrival won in the category for best edited dramatic feature and La La Land for best edited comedy feature.

Both editors are nominated for the Oscar in film editing, along with John Gilbert for Hacksaw Ridge, Jake Roberts for Hell or High Water and Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon for Moonlight. All were also nominated by ACE.

In 11 of the last 15 years, the winner of the Eddie for dramatic feature has gone on to win the Academy Award in film editing. In 2003, the Oscar for film editing was awarded to the musical Chicago, which won the Eddie that year for the category then-known as best edited feature, comedy or musical.

Friday night marked the first Eddie win for Walker and Cross, who are previous Eddie and Academy Award nominees. Cross won the Oscar in 2015 for La La Land director Damien Chazelle's prior film, Whiplash.

Also during Friday's ceremony, Fabienne Rawley and Jeremy Milton, the editors of Zootopia, won the Eddie for an animated feature, and Bret Granato, Maya Mumma and Ben Sozanski’s work on O.J.: Made in America earned the Eddie in the feature documentary category.

Winners in the TV categories included the editors of Veep, Game of Thrones, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, This Is Us and the documentary Everything Is Copy. And last year’s Career Achievement honoree, Carol Littleton, collected an Eddie for All the Way in the category of miniseries or motion picture for television.

During the evening, J.J. Abrams received the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, which was presented by Jeff Garlin.

“I wrote tonight’s speech without the help of an editor, so it will be long and rambling and repetitive,” Abrams joked, thanking some of the “greatest artists," the editors, for the work that they do “at that last unforgivable stage in the creative process.” He noted that as a writer or director, he knows there are next-steps to improving the film, “but as editors you are f—ed. There’s no magical next step. … The artist has to perform a magic trick [with only the footage that they are provided].”

Martin Scorsese presented a Career Achievement Award to his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker. “I love the editing process the most,” he said, saying it’s “spending time with Thelma. … Ultimately it’s about trust and her fierceness to fight for the truth in the film.”

The pair hugged as Schoonmaker accepted the award, and she said, “The award belongs to Marty as much as to me. … To receive footage that has been shot with editing in mind, it is a blessing.”

Thomas Schlamme presented the second Career Achievement Award to Janet Ashikaga, whose editing credits include The West Wing, Sports Night and Seinfeld.

Lori Jane Coleman, Diana Friedberg and William Gordean received Heritage Award for their work in creating and building the ACE Internship Program. And Arrival director Denis Villeneuve presented the Student Award to Tommy Wakefield of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The complete list of winners follows: