Eddie Awards: ‘Parasite’ & ‘Jojo Rabbit’ Take Top Film Prizes From American Cinema Editors

Erik Pedersen and Matt Grobar

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Bong Jong Ho’s South Korean film Parasite continued its remarkable awards-season run tonight, winning the top prize for editor Jimmo Yang at the 70th annual ACE Eddie Awards. It’s the first time the American Cinema Editors has given its marquee Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) award to a foreign-language pic.

Searchlight Pictures’ Nazi sendup Jojo Rabiit won the Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) for Tom Eagles, and Axel Geddes took home Best Edited Animated Feature Film for Disney/Pixar’s billion-dollar sequel Toy Story 4. Todd Douglas Miller scooped the Eddie for Best Edited Documentary (Feature) for Neon’s Apollo 11.

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See the full list of winners below.

“Oh my god,” Yang said in his acceptance speech. “I definitely didn’t see this coming, so I didn’t prepare a speech, and my brain is going crazy. First of all, this all feels like a dream. I can’t believe this is happening. I’d like to first of all thank director Bong Joon Ho for letting me edit this film. I thank all the actors who were in this film — Song Kang-ho, who is here with us today. And I thank all the crew members who worked on this film with me, particularly my editing crew. It’s such a huge honor to be nominated such amazing honors, and I’ll do my best to work on great films with great directors.”

Eagles said from the stage: “The last time I won any type of award, I was about 6 years old,” It was a disco dancing competition, and I won first place. I want to thank you all. I think it’s a tremendous act of generosity even to nominate me. You’ve made me feel very welcome, and to be nominated alongside such fine company leaves me speechless. Thanks to Carthew [Neal], our tireless producer and my good friend. Taika, I really don’t know where to begin. Thank you for your beautiful script, for the beautiful performances, the beautiful world that you created, and thank you for trusting me with that.”

The Eddies, which recognize outstanding editing in film, TV and documentaries, have a strong track record of predicting the Best Editing winner at the Academy Awards. Twenty-two of the past 29 ACE winners for best edited dramatic film and 11 of the past 15 have gone on to score the Oscar, including John Ottman for Bohemian Rhapsody last year. Parasite, from CJ Entertainment, and Jojo Rabbit will vie for the Best Film Editing Oscar against Ford v Ferrari (Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland), The Irishman (Thelma Schoonmaker) and Joker (Jeff Groth).

Host D’Arcy Carden of The Good Place said early on tonight, “No show or movie can exist without editing — except, of course, The Irishman.” Among her other quips: “I feel close to editors because I have been edited out of so many things,” and “Who do you guys hate more, directors or actors?”

On the TV side, an episode of BBC America’s Killing Eve won in Best Edited Drama Series for Commercial Television with “Desperate Measures” (edited by Dan Crinnion, ACE). Other small-screen winners included the “Easter” episode of FX’s Better Things (edited by Janet Weinberg) for Best Edited Comedy Series for Commercial Television and Amazon’s Fleabag “Episode 2.1” (Gary Dollner) for Best Edited Comedy Series for Non-Commercial Television.

Episodes of HBO programs walked away with a pair of Eddies tonight: Game of Thrones: “The Long Night” (edited by Tim Porter) won Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television, and Chernobyl: “Vichnaya Pamyat” (Jinx Godfrey & Simon Smith) scored Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television.

X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner received ACE’s Golden Eddie Award tonight, and All That Jazz Oscar winner Alan Heim and Tina Hirsch accepted the Career Achievement Award. Cathy Repola, National Executive Director of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, picked up ACE’s Heritage Award, which recognizing an individual’s commitment to advancing the image of the film editor, cultivating respect for the editing profession and dedication to ACE.

In introducing Shuler Donner, Marvel’s Kevin Feige said: “I can pretty much guarantee that if a certain woman didn’t take a chance on me back in 1994, I wouldn’t be standing in this room with you tonight. I wouldn’t be allowed inside a studio, let alone on the set of some of the biggest films of all time. I wouldn’t have learned from one of the industry’s most terrific uber-producers to deliver one and one thing only — to deliver the absolute best film you can. My mentor, my friend, my original superhero in this business, she’s made an enduring impact on my life and on my work.”

Said Shuler Donner, whose films have grossed more than $7 billion worldwide: “Editing has always been my favorite part of making movies,” she said in accepting the award. “One of my first jobs in Hollywood was as an assistant editor for Cy Wexler Films. I bullshitted myself into this job, and then they told me that I would be negative-cutting the film. I think I was always most comfortable in an editing room, and still am to this day. I’ve learned so much from editors I’ve gotten to work with. It’s all about the rhythm, isn’t it? The rhythm that editors feel instinctively, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to work with some of the best at the craft. When I think of the expression ‘movie magic,’ I think of editors. I’ve witnessed, more than once, editors making chicken salad out of chicken shit, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your gut instincts, and thank you for all those times you fought against our worst impulses.”

Heim, ACE’s current vice president and former president, has cut films for such celebrated directors as Sidney Lumet, Mel Brooks, John Hughes and Milos Foreman. “From my first editing class in New York, I’ve been in love with the whole process of editing and the camaraderie of the cutting room,” he said tonight. “I joined [ACE] because I thought it would make me part of a larger community, and it certainly did. I look forward to continuing to work with Cathy Ripola and the union board. I’d like to thank my assistants for teaching me to use the Avid, and before that, Lightworks, being a sounding board for my cuts, and listening to me gripe.”

Hirsch, an ACE board member who made history in 2000 when she was elected as the guild’s first female president, cried throughout her speech: “It’s a great honor to be recognized by my peers, and I deeply appreciate it,” she said. “As I’ve said many times before, editors are my favorite people. … Over the years I’ve often been asked by film students how I got my start. I’ve always believed in the magic of the universe; if something is meant to happen, it will. Honestly, I’ve lived through this over and over.”

Repola has served the Motion Picture Editors Guild in several top leadership roles since 1992 and has been its National Executive Director since 2016. In accepted her award, she talked about the situation last year when made headlines for leading her local’s staunch resistance to the contract that IATSE worked out with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“You all know our union bravely stood up and voiced opposition to the last IATSE basic agreement,” she said in accepting her award. “I don’t want to make this a political speech, but we were met with what I would call uncalled for and really inappropriate retaliation from the IATSE president. The more aggressive he was, though, the more the members of our union came together, hands united, standing proudly together in brotherhood and sisterhood. And the more determined I became to stand proudly at the helm, to fight back with all I had, hand in hand with the membership, with our Board of Directors, and with Alan Heim. By the way, I think it’s really cool that Alan and I are both getting awards tonight. … Whatever courage there was during that time was not mine alone. I could never have gone through what I did without the unwavering support of our members. I proudly accept this Heritage Award, but I do so on behalf of our entire guild.”

Cary Elwes presented the Anne V. Coates Student Editing Award to Chase Johnson of Cal State Fullerton, who beat out hundreds of competitors from film schools and universities around the country.

Here are the winners of the 70th annual ACE Eddie Awards:

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMA)
Parasite
Jinmo Yang

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY)
Jojo Rabbit
Tom Eagles

BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Toy Story 4
Axel Geddes

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
Apollo 11
Todd Douglas Miller

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (NON-THEATRICAL)
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali
Jake Pushinsky

BEST EDITED COMEDY SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION
Better Things: “Easter”
Janet Weinberg

BEST EDITED COMEDY SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION
Fleabag: “Episode 2.1”
Gary Dollner

BEST EDITED DRAMA SERIES FOR COMMERCIAL TELEVISION
Killing Eve: “Desperate Times”
Dan Crinnion

BEST EDITED DRAMA SERIES FOR NON-COMMERCIAL TELEVISION
Game of Thrones: “The Long Night”
Tim Porter

BEST EDITED MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE FOR TELEVISION
Chernobyl: “Vichnaya Pamyat”
Jinx Godfrey & Simon Smith

BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES
VICE Investigates: “Amazon on Fire”
Cameron Dennis, Kelly Kendrick, Joe Matoske, Ryo Ikegami

ANNE V. COATES AWARD FOR STUDENT EDITING
Chase Johnson
California State University, Fullerton

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