It’s not widely known that along with the Academy Awards, the Directors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes, the American Cinema Editors ACE Eddie Awards are among the longest-running awards show in showbiz.
Winning one represents the highest honor within the editing world, and spirits were ebullient for the 69th edition held Friday night at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom, packed with more than 1,000 attendees at the black tie gala.
Continuing the accolades given their films during this awards season, the editors of “The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis, ACE) and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman, ACE) took the top motion picture prizes.
The ACE Eddies honor the best editors in feature film, documentary film and television, with trophies for half-hour series, one hour series both for commercial and noncommercial TV, miniseries or television motion picture and non-scripted series, a total of 11 categories.
The evening’s festivities were hosted by comedian Tom Kenny, with opening remarks from ACE president Stephen Rivkin.
The editors’ awards show, like those of several other professional guilds, is not televised, meaning the comic bits from the host and presenters and the acceptance speeches can go on as long as they like—with no editing.
Much of the time was taken lauding this year’s deserving honorees, who included Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, recipient of the organization’s prestigious ACE Golden Eddie honor.
It was presented to him by Octavia Spencer, who starred in last year’s Academy Award-winning best picture, del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.” She quickly decided not to read the Teleprompter and to speak from the heart.
“More than being a marvelous filmmaker, he’s a wonderful person,” Spencer said. “When I met him– one of my icons – he changed my life forever. We had a 3 ½ hour meeting, talking about everything from politics, food and antiques, that culminated in him telling me he wrote the part of Zelda for me. It was beautifully executed.”
Del Toro gratefully accepted the honor, whose past recipients include J.J. Abrams, Norman Jewison, Nancy Meyers, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, Alexander Payne, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg, and lauded the importance of editors. “It’s not the craft and the technique but the partnership we have, which is intimate and vulnerable,” he said. “When two people agree in a room, one of them is not needed– so that is the true mark of their importance. An editor recognizes the movie when it goes by, stops it and talks to it.”
Other honorees were Jerrold Ludwig, ACE (“An Early Frost,” “Rich Man, Poor Man”) and Craig McKay, ACE (“Reds,” “The Silence of the Lambs”) –both of whom received career achievement awards. Their work was highlighted with clip reels exhibiting their contributions to film and television throughout their careers.
“Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” (edited by Robert Fisher, Jr.) won Best Edited Animated Feature Film and “Free Solo” (edited by Bob Eisenhardt, ACE) won Best Edited Documentary (Feature).
On the television side, winners were “Atlanta — Teddy Perkins” (edited by Kyle Reiter) for Best Edited Comedy Series for Commercial Television, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — Simone” (edited by Kate Sanford, ACE) for Best Edited Comedy Series for Non-Commercial Television, “Killing Eve — Nice Face” (edited by Gary Dollner, ACE) for Best Edited Drama Series for Commercial Television, “Bodyguard — Episode 1” (edited by Steve Singleton) for Best Edited Drama Series for Non-Commercial Television, “Escape at Dannemora — Episode Seven” (edited by Malcolm Jamieson & Geoffrey Richman ACE) for Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television, “Anthony Bourdain — Parts Unknown: West Virginia” (edited by Hunter Gross, ACE) for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series and “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” (edited by Greg Finton, ACE & Poppy Das, ACE) won Best Edited Documentary (Non-Theatrical).
Emma Hickox, ACE presented the Anne V. Coates Student Editing Award to Marco Gonzalez of Boston University. Gonzalez took the prize over hundreds of competitors from film schools and universities around the country. The award was re-named this year in honor of legendary editor Coates, who was Hickox’s mother. She passed away this past year.
Presenters at the ACE Eddie Awards included Oscar-nominated director Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Oscar-nominated director and ACE Eddie Award nominee for “Roma” Alfonso Cuarón, director Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), director Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”), Jennifer Lewis (“Black-ish”) Angela Sarafyan (“Westworld”), Harry Shum, Jr. (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Paul Walter Hauser (“BlacKkKlansman”) and film editor Carol Littleton, ACE.