American Cinema Editors Asking Film Festivals, Competitions to Add Editing Category

The American Cinema Editors are asking competitions and film festivals to consider adding a motion picture editing category.

While the role of the editor is a key element in film production production, the best editing is often relatively invisible. Designed to keep the audience in the story, the craft is often referred to as the “Invisible Art.”

To raise the visibility of editors, ACE has sent letters to the Shanghai International Film Festival, New York PictureStart Awards, Durban International Film Festival, Boston Film Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival. “We are approaching festivals that already honor cinematography and/or production design, but not editing,” explained Academy Award-nominated editor Stephen Rivkin (Avatar), a member of ACE's board of directors.

The letter sent to those festivals explains: “The Editor creates the first cut as the film is being shot, which requires skills in storytelling, performance and shot selection, structure, rhythm, pace, length, taste and talent. This first viewing of the film is often the most important, as a first impression is formed and it helps the filmmakers to define the task ahead. The Director and Editor are collaborators in the process of refining and trimming, working closely together through completion and delivery of the final film.”

A separate letter was sent to the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA), which puts on the annual Annie Awards, asking for consideration for the unique role of the editor of animated movies.

“Editors on animated films are involved much earlier than in a live-action production,” the letter reads. “They help shape the story using storyboards, building a temp track, working with the Director on script issues, pacing and characters well before the actual production begins. Performance selection, storytelling, pace, rhythm, shot selection, cutting patterns, length are all elements that are common to both live action and animated film editing.”

THR recently detailed the role of the animation editor.