71st ACE Eddie Awards

June 5, 2021

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, American Cinema Editors presented a polished and heartfelt virtual 71st Eddies Awards as nearly 1,100 viewers from 21 countries tuned in for the April 17 stream.

ACE president Kevin Tent, ACE, welcomed online viewers, saying, “Today we celebrate the incredibly strange, unique and mysterious art form we hold dear. We also celebrate the incredible skill and craftsmanship that has gone into making this year’s nominated films and television shows – amazing work, much of it done under difficult circumstances.

“Although we’re not all physically together today, packed like sardines at the bar waiting for a drink from an annoyed bartender, we are together virtually, which has its advantages – mainly we get to have our members from all over the world join us,” he added, welcoming ACE members from around the world, in cities including New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Berlin, and yes, even McMurdo Station, Antarctica.”

During the ceremony, ACE presented Eddies to Alan Baumgarten, ACE, for The Trial of the Chicago 7 (best edited dramatic feature); Matthew Friedman, ACE and Andrew Dickler for Palm Springs (best edited comedy feature); and winners in a total of 14 categories. As well, Lynzee Klingman, ACE (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Little Man Tate), and Sidney Wolinsky, ACE (The Sopranos, The Shape of Water) received Career Achievement Awards for their outstanding contributions to film editing; and prolific filmmaker Spike Lee was honored with the Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award.

During the pre-show, editors Barry Alexander Brown, ACE, Adam Gough, ACE, and Sam Pollard talked about working with Lee, whose award was later accepted by the multihyphenate’s daughter, Satchel Lee, on his behalf. “We kind of grew up together in the business,” remembered longtime collaborator Brown. “When we made [Do the Right Thing] Spike and I were pretty young and pretty green and neither one of us realized that I should be editing while Spike is shooting.”

During the show, which was hosted by cast members from Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, two-time Oscar® winner Jodie Foster offered a touching tribute to Klingman. “Working with an editor is the most intimate part of the directorial process. It’s a one-on-one making relationship that’s impossible to wrap your head around, much less describe. It’s like childbirth,” said Foster. “The edit is always magical and painful, revealing and revelatory, singular and sacred, because you do it together in your Frankenstein lab with all the take-out menus and the ratty couch … There is no one in the world that I would rather make that baby with than Lynzee Klingman.”

Klingman thanked Foster and colleagues at ACE, as well as assistant editors who helped her along the way. She recalled how difficult it was to get her big break at a time when editorial houses would say: “We don’t want to hire a woman. You can’t carry  cans the way a man can and we don’t want to have to watch our language. If we train you, you’ll just get married and go off and that’s a big loss for us, so we don’t hire women … Now there are tons of women working.

Seven-time Emmy® winner and Sopranos producer David Chase presented the career honor to Wolinsky, saying, “He brings so much skill and rhythm and beauty to it, but he’s always willing to try anything.”

“When Kevin Tent called me to tell me that I had been chosen to receive this year’s career achievement award, my first thought was, but I’m still working. Isn’t it too early? … On the other hand, what a nice gesture from my peers,” said Wolinsky.

“It’s a cliché to say that we editors work in darkened rooms, taking out the bad stuff and leaving in the good stuff. Few people apart from some directors and producers really understand the complexity of our skills … What arrives in the cutting room as a chaotic, impenetrable vast sea of dailies, leaves as a pretty good representation of the script and the beginning of a finished episode or feature film.”

In the competitive categories, Alan Baumgarten, ACE, took the award for Best Edited Dramatic Feature Film for his work on Aaron Sorkin’s historical drama The Trial of the Chicago 7. Baumgarten thanked Sorkin for his “brilliant screenplay and for directing this important and very timely film. Even though it took 14 years to get it made it feels like somehow you found the right timing. I appreciate your enthusiasm for editing and it’s a real pleasure and a privilege to collaborate with you.” This is Baumgarten’s third Eddie Award, having previously been recognized for American Hustle and limited series Recount.

Meanwhile the Best Edited Comedy Feature Film award went to Matthew Friedman, ACE, and Andrew Dickler for their work with Max Barbakow on the time-travelling romantic comedy Palm Springs. “Whoa! This was a totally unexpected thing, especially considering all the nominees we were up against,” said Friedman. “I’m just happy to have been able to help make people laugh, especially in the middle of last year.” Editor Kevin Nolting, ACE, was honored with his third Eddiefor Best Edited Animated Feature Film for Disney-Pixar’s CG fantasy comedy Soul. Nolting called out his assistant editors – Eric Barker, Jamie Datz, Ayse Dedeoglu Arkali and Paloma Rodriguez – in particular. “This was a fast moving, ever-changing, technically complicated show to start, and then COVID hit, and with our Pixar friends, you seamlessly got us working from home and never lost your focus,” said Nolting, who also won Eddies in 2016 for Inside Out and in 2010 for Up.

First-time director, writer and editor Pippa Ehrlich shared the award for Best Edited Feature Documentary with Dan Schwalm for My Octopus Teacher, which recounts an unusual bond that develops between a filmmaker and an octopus in South Africa. The Best Edited Non-Theatrical Documentary award went to Chad Beck, ACE, Devin Concannon, Abhay Sofsky and Ben Sozanski, ACE for their work on the ESPN-Netflix Chicago Bulls doc The Last Dance, “Episode 1,” which recounts Michael Jordan’s legendary tenure with the Bulls in the 1990s.

Trevor Ambrose, CCE, earned the award for Best Edited Comedy Series for Commercial Television for the final episode of Schitt’s Creek entitled “Happy Ending.” The Canadian  comedy series took the U.S. by storm with its series finale in 2020, landing Ambrose a Primetime Emmy® nomination.

The Best Edited Non-Commercial Comedy Series award went to Melissa McCoy for her work on Apple’s breakout hit about an American football coach hired to coach an English soccer team – Ted Lasso, “Make Rebecca Great Again.”

Chris McCaleb, ACE, and Joey Liew received the award for Best Edited Drama Series for Commercial Television, for their work on AMC’s Breaking Bad spinoff series Better Call Saul “Bad Choice Road.” This was McCaleb’s fourth Eddie nomination and first win, while it was Liew’s first.

Best Edited Non-Commercial TV Drama Series award went to Ozark “Wartime” editor Cindy Mollo, ACE. This was Mollo’s
third Eddie nomination and first win.

The Queen’s Gambit episode “Exchanges” earned Michelle Tesoro, ACE, the award for Best Edited Limited Series or Motion Picture. Released last October, the coming-of-age drama about an orphaned chess prodigy who grapples with her addictions instantly shot to the top of Netflix’s ratings and has remained one of the streamer’s most popular shows.

The editing team on Cheer (“God Blessed Texas”) – Kate Hackett, Arielle Kilker, Daniel McDonald, Mark Morgan, David Nordstrom, Sharon Weaver, Ted Woerner – shared the award for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series. The series looks at the struggles of athletes on a cheer squad in Corsicana, Texas.

 Lee Harting took the Best Edited Non-Theatrical Animation award for the “Rattlestar Ricklactica” episode of Rick and Morty. Harting won a Primetime Emmy for his work on the series last year.

Director Aaron Sorkin presented the Anne V. Coates Award for Student Editing to University of North Carolina School ofthe Arts’ Samuel Bailey, who said he was “enormously grateful” for the recognition. Bailey was selected from a field of nearly 50 students who were all challenged to edit the same scene from ABC series Nashville.

Award presenters also included Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Riz Ahmed and Jeremy Lee Stone (Sound of Metal), Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek), Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), Brett Goldstein and Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami…), Mandy Moore and Jon Huertas (This Is Us), and the youngest stars of Minari, Noel Cho and Alan S. Kim.

The program concluded with a virtual after party with sponsor chat rooms, individual networking, film trivia and a “dance party.” ACE thanks the sponsors that helped make this event possible, including: Platinum Sponsor Avid Technology; Gold Sponsors Adobe, FotoKem, Netflix, Paramount Studios, Pfinix Creative Group, Picture Shop, Tribeca West Kilroy and Warner Bros. Pictures; and Silver Sponsors HBO/HBO Max, Panavision/Light Iron and Screeners.com/SHIFT.

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