Case studies and conversations about the current state of the editing field will elucidate the craft and help build your editor’s toolkit.
In the NBC News Studios Lounge, the day starts with Breakfast (9-10 AM) and ends with a Happy Hour (4:30-5:30 PM) co-presented by the Alliance of Documentary Editors.
10am – 11:15am
Editors as Storytellers
Be part of this current debate within the editing community: The editor as a writer. How does the documentary editor collaborate in the storytelling process and how is their role akin to that of a writer? What is writing in the edit room? This panel will examine the role that editors play in crafting, guiding and refining the final cut of a film. Cinque Northern (Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices from A Plantation Prison), Nyneve Laura Minnear (The Art of Making It) and David Teague (Life, Animated) shed insight into their roles as writers in post-production and unpack this timely topic. Director/producer Cyndee Readdean (Boston School Battle) will contribute her insight.
Cinque Northern is an Emmy nominated, Peabody award-winning filmmaker and editor who’s passionate about the intersection of creative cinema, social impact, and the empowerment of artists. Recent works include The One and Only Dick Gregory (Showtime) for which Cinque was field director and editor. He also co-wrote and edited My Name is Pauli Murray (AmazonStudios) and directed Angola Do You Hear Us? (MTV Documentary Films) airing on Paramount Plus in the fall. Cinque has an MFA in filmmaking from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
David Teague is an Emmy-winning documentary film editor and writer. His work as an editor includes the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Life Animated the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Cutie and the Boxer, the Independent Spirit-nominated The Departure the Emmy-nominated E-team, and the Oscar-winning Freeheld. As a consulting editor, he worked on Knock Down The House, Crip Camp, Cameraperson, Welcome to Chechnya, and Mayor. He wrote the forthcoming fiction film Cassandro with director Roger Ross Williams, starring Gael García Bernal. David has served as an editing mentor with IFP/Gotham, Firelight, Tribeca, Catapult, True/False, Brown Girls Doc Mafia and the Sundance Institute.
Cyndee Readdean is an award-winning filmmaker. She recently co-directed/co-produced Boston School Battle (w.t.), a PBS American Experience documentary. Readdean directed/produced an episode of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning PBS series Reconstruction: America after the Civil War and the Emmy nominated ABC film The FBI & the Panther. She served as the Series Producer on the EPIX series “By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem,” produced Freedom Summer, which premiered at Sundance and won the George Foster Peabody Award, and produced Emmy nominated Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities.
Nyneve Laura Minnear is an editor/writer/story consultant based in Brooklyn. Her latest feature doc Little Richard-I Am Everything, directed by Lisa Cortes, will premiere in 2023. Past credits include The Vow-HBO; 306 Hollywood – the first documentary to premiere in Sundance’s NEXT section for Innovative Filmmaking; (T)ERROR – Emmy, Sundance Jury Award, and Full Frame Grand Jury Award winner; Girl With Black Balloons – DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize winner. Nyneve was an editor/producer for Dan Rather Reports, a Sundance Lab Fellow, Gotham Lab Fellow/Mentor, KSFEF Diversity Program Mentor, and an inaugural Steering Committee member for the Alliance of Documentary Editors.
Co-hosted by the Alliance for Documentary Editors
11:30am – 12:45pm
Case Study: Beba
From first-time filmmaker Rebeca Huntt and editor Isabel Freeman, Beba is a coming of age memoir where deep insight into the impact of generational trauma emerges in this award winning documentary. In conversation with Jevon Heyliger, Senior Editor at Warner Bros. Discovery, Rebeca explores the art of remaining vulnerable while editing self-portraiture with her stunning film.Rebeca will highlight the editing choices she made to impactfully tell her family’s story of love, trauma, and healing.
Rebeca Huntt is a writer/director born in New York City. Her first feature film, Beba (2021) made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim. Her short films have screened at numerous festivals, including the Athena Film Festival, BlackStar, TIDE and Art of Brooklyn. She participated in the 2019 IFP Documentary Lab and the 56th annual New York Film Festival’s Artist Academy. Rebeca has worked as an archival producer for various documentaries produced by Hulu, Fader and PBS.
Isabel Freeman is a New York-based editor specializing in documentary film. Her work has screened at festivals around the world including BFI London, Sheffield DocFest, Sundance, New York Film Festival and the Berlinale. She recently cut Rebeca Huntt’s debut feature, Beba, which had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in 2021. The film was released by NEON across the U.S. this year.
Jevon Heyliger is a Senior Editor with Warner Brothers Discovery. He currently edits with the “True Crime “ network – ID (Investigation Discovery). Jevon has been editing for over 20 years and has created numerous works for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, Independent Lens, and the Smithsonian. In 2006 he won the Promax North America Broadcast Networks Silver award for editing. Jevon was born on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and then immigrated to the United States as a child. A life long New Yorker, he now resides with his family in the District of Columbia. Regardless where he rests his head, Jevon will still rep the NEW YORK KNICKS with his dying breath! #NewYorkForever
1:45pm – 3pm
In Conversation With Ethan Hawke and Barry Poltermann: The Last Movie Stars
Don Argott (Framing John DeLorean) hosts a vibrant conversation with series director Ethan Hawke and editor Barry Poltermann as they go behind the scenes of their complex, acclaimed storytelling endeavor that explores the careers and decades-long relationship of Hollywood icons Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.Creating a compelling story in the edit room that honors Newman and Woodward’s expansive careers and rocky marriage is a feat. Add to the mix access to a treasure trove of rich archival material plus thousands of pages of written transcript from Newman’s unpublished memoir and we have a multilayered editing experience.
Ethan Hawke is a four-time Academy Award®-nominated actor, director, writer, producer and novelist.
His prolific film acting credits include Dead Poets Society; Reality Bites; Gattaca; Training Day; Boyhood; the ‘Before Trilogy’; and First Reformed. He has also worked extensively in the theater and been nominated for the Drama Desk award as both an actor and as a director.
Hawke recently directed the critically-acclaimed, six-part documentary, The Last Movie Stars, about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. His recent onscreen projects include The Black Phone, Raymond and Ray, and the TV series Moon Knight and The Good Lord Bird. He will soon be seen alongside Julia Roberts in Netflix’s Leave the World Behind.
Barry Poltermann is known for editing the Sundance Grand Prize winning documentary American Movie (1999) and Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017), which debuted at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy in 2018. He also edited the Sundance Special Jury Prize winning feature, The Pool (2008) and the limited documentary series The Last Movie Stars (2022).
Don Argott is an Emmy nominated filmmaker who co-owns the Philadelphia based production company, 9.14 Pictures, with producer/director, Sheena M. Joyce. Argott’s filmography includes, Rock School, Two Days In April, The Art Of The Steal, Last Days Here, The Atomic States of America, As The Palaces Burn, Slow Learners, Batman & Bill, Believer, Framing John Delorean, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time, Keep Sweet and DIO Dreamers Never Die. Argott recently directed The Bond, a four part doc series for discovery +, as well as Spector, a four part doc series for Showtime.
Argott lives in Philadelphia with his partner and collaborator of over 20 years, Sheena M. Joyce, their incredible daughter Maeve and the greatest cat in the world, George.
3:15pm – 4:30pm
Beyond Resilience: Editing while BIPOC
This panel explores how authorship plays out in complex, often messy ways during the creative process in the edit room. While there is a widening understanding of the importance of diverse teams, the reality is that BIPOC editors are sometimes brought in to mostly white productions to fill a checkbox for funders and streamers, or the editor is tasked with providing “authenticity” and expertise based on their identity. This panel will shine a critical light on these problematic dynamics, and in response, ask: What does a fruitful, creative collaboration look like when issues of voice, power, and authorship are navigated? Taking an unfiltered approach, panelists will share their struggles and triumphs of working in the creative documentary space. Moderated by Carla Gutierrez (Julia), panelists include Rebecca Adorno (Homeroom), Jason Pollard (Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues) and Gerardo del Valle from the Firelight Media and BIPOC Docs Editor’s Group communities.
Carla Gutiérrez ACE is an Emmy and Eddie nominated documentary editor. She edited the Oscar nominated films RBG and LA CORONA, and recently completed PRAY AWAY (Netflix Original, Tribeca). Her latest film, JULIA, about renowned chef, and television personality Julia Child, premiered at Telluride and was an official selection of the 2021 Toronto Film Festival. JULIA was produced by Imagine Entertainment, CNN Films, and Sony Pictures Classics. Carla’s work has received awards at Sundance, Tribeca, Berlinale, Outfest, the Critic’s Choice Awards, the National Board of Review Awards and the DuPont Columbia Awards. She has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit Lab, and a mentor for the Firelight Producers’ Lab, The Karen Schmeer Diversity Program, and the Tribeca Film Fellows program. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the American Cinema Editors. Carla received a Masters in Documentary Film from Stanford University.
Rebecca Adorno Dávila is an Emmy nominated and award winning video editor born and raised in Puerto Rico. She gravitates towards vérité and archival heavy, character-driven stories.
She was an editor on the nine part HBO documentary series “The Vow” (2020) and on three seasons of the Emmy-award winning series “VICE on HBO”, which in 2016 led her to an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Picture Editing.
Among others, she edited feature length music documentary “Residente”, an official selection at SXSW’s Film Festival in 2017, experimental biopic “Moments Like This Never Last” and “Homeroom”, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where she was awarded the Inaugural Jonathan Oppenheim Documentary Editing Award alongside editor Kristina Motwani.
Jason Pollard’s involvement in the film industry began as a young child when he accompanied his father, acclaimed film producer/editor Sam Pollard, to different edit rooms as Sam magically turned strips of celluloid into complex and wonderful stories. He has has edited many acclaimed documentary films including Slavery by Another Name, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and Netflix documentary Get Me Roger Stone, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. More recently, he edited The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song for PBS, Who Killed Malcolm X? and Rapture for Netflix, Tina Charles’ Game Changer, which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, and Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues which premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.
Gerardo del Valle is a director and producer from Guatemala based out of New York City. His work explores the people behind the headlines and the repercussion of policy decisions on communities. He is a Firelight Documentary Lab Fellow and an SFFilm Foundation New American Fellow. His work has been supported by the International Documentary Association (IDA) and the Sundance Institute. He has collaborated with Vice, Univision, the BBC, and ProPublica.
His work has been recognized by the Fundación Gabo (2019), the Inter-American Press Association (2014), and the National Press Photographers of America (2018).
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