Warner Bros. sports drama King Richard took the top Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) honor Saturday to cap the American Cinema Editors’ 72nd annual ACE Eddie Awards.
Pamela Martin edited the pic, which sees Will Smith portraying the father to tennis sensations Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton), who had a plan that would take the young tennis players from the streets of Compton to the global stage. The win puts Martin and the film in frontrunner status in the Best Film Editing Oscar race, where it is competing against fellow nominees Don’t Look Up, Dune, The Power of the Dog and Tick, Tick…Boom!. Twenty-two of the past 30 ACE winners for best edited dramatic film and 11 of the past 16 have gone on to score the Oscar, but Ford v. Ferrari won the Academy Award last year after Paradise took the Eddie.
King Richard is up for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture.
Other top film winners in today’s in-person ceremony hosted by DJ Lance Rock included Netflix’s Tick, Tick…Boom!, whose editors Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum won for Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy). Disney’s Encanto continued its strong awards season presence, taking the Animation prize for editor Jeremy Milton. Searchlight Pictures’ Summer of Soul ……Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised won for documentary.
The decision by the Motion Picture Academy to cut the editing awards out of the Oscars live show did not go unnoticied and was referred to throughout the two-hour ceremony. ACE President Kevin Tent did not mention the Oscars by name, but alluded to the controversy at the end of his introduction. “There might be some setbacks and slights at times which can sting,” he said, continuing,”Today is about us…. We know our value. Any director, producer of any consequence knows that as well.”
In his opening monologue, Rock also took a swipe at the decision. He joked it was a televised ceremony named after a famous grouch. “They’re cutting the show to be shorter this year. One of the categories that they’re cutting is the editing award,” to which the crowd booed.
“Who are they going to get to cut that? The only editor I feel worse for is for whoever had to put together that Gal Gadot “Imagine” video,” Rock quipped.
TV winners today included the editors behind AMC’s Kevin Can F*** Himself and HBO Max’s Hacks for comedy, and HBO’s Succession on the drama side. Bo Burnham: Inside and Bob’s Burgers also landed prizes.
In her acceptance speech, Hacks editor Susan Vaill also noted the Academy’s decision and called upon PAs and other crafts to amplify each other to “Make those people who don’t think we should be on the broadcast listen.”
HBO’s Mare of Easttown won for Best Edited Limited Series, while HBO’s Oslo took the non-theatrical documentary honor.
The ceremony included honoring Lillian E. Benson, who has specialized in nonfiction fare, and Oscar-winning Star Wars editor Richard Chew with Career Achievement Awards for their outstanding contributions to film editing. The Sundance Institute broke ground as the first film organization ever to earn the ACE Eddie Awards’ top honor, the Golden Eddie.
Benson closed her thank you speech with a quote from a hymn from an episode of Eye on the Prize she edited about the Memphis sanitation workers strike. “‘Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarm. Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arm’, she quoted. “I stand here tonight leaning on the overloading arm. I hope for a safe, secure and inclusive world and a safe, secure and inclusive industry.”
Chew choked backed tears as he began his acceptance speeech. “Even though you prepare for this, you’re never ready for a moment like this,” he told the audience.
“It wasn’t until we got our first TV set when I was 9 that I got to see movies on a 12” screen,” he recalled. “From them I saw how adults outside my family spoke to each other and behaved, sometimes badly, sometimes with honor. I saw how couples fell in love and fell out of love. But those movies on TV were old and sometimes irrelevant to the world as I knew it. Cut forward 15 years. I am in my second year of law school. I saw Nothing But a Man. It impacted me greatly. It showed racial inequality in the guise of a love story. So I saw how social context gave the story meaning. That’s when movies became relevant to me and made me realize I wanted to learn how to make movies that mattered,” Chew said, adding “I’m thinking maybe we could do both, entertain and send a message. Maybe we could use movies to encourage the better angels of our nature.”
Here’s the complete winners list:
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMATIC)
Pamela Martin, ACE
BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY)
Myron Kerstein, ACE, Andrew Weisblum, ACE
BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Jeremy Milton, ACE
BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
Summer of Soul……Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised
Joshua L. Pearson
BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (NON-THEATRICAL)
The Beatles: Get Back “Episode 3”
BEST EDITED MULTI-CAMERA COMEDY SERIES
Kevin Can F**k Himself “Live Free or Die”
Daniel Schalk, ACE and Joseph Fulton
BEST EDITED SINGLE-CAMERA COMEDY SERIES
Hacks “1.69 Million”
Susan Vaill, ACE
BEST EDITED DRAMA SERIES
Succession “All the Bells Say”
Ken Eluto, ACE
BEST EDITED MOTION PICTURE (NON-THEATRICAL)
Jay Rabinowitz, ACE
BEST EDITED LIMITED SERIES
Mare of Easttown “Illusions”
Amy E. Duddleston, ACE
BEST EDITED NON-SCRIPTED SERIES
Formula 1: Drive to Survive “Man on Fire”
Dan Ablett, Kevin Austin, Otto Burnham, Shane McCormack, Graham Taylor
BEST EDITED VARIETY TALK/SKETCH SHOW OR SPECIAL
Bo Burnham: Inside
BEST EDITED ANIMATION (NON-THEATRICAL)
Bobs Burgers ” Vampire Disco Death Dance”
ANNE V. COATES AWARD FOR STUDENT EDITING
Guanqing Lin – American Film Institute