March 23, 2020

In documentaries, women dominate the roster of editors working on the most compelling films and television series. To understand the current landscape in documentary editing, from the perspective of acclaimed female editors, we invited Kate Amend (The Keepers, The Case Against 8); Lillian Benson (Eyes on the Prize II, John Lewis: Get in the Way); Helen Kearns (Ask Dr. Ruth, The Keepers); and Poppy Das (Lorena, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind) for an interactive panel discussion at the IDA HQ. The West Coast edition of Women Make the Cut: A Discussion with Female Documentary Editors asked panelists how they first got involved in film; what perspectives and skills they bring to the editing process; the reasons behind the proliferation of female editors in documentary film;  and what makes for an ideal editor-director relationship. The panel was moderated by 2019 Schmeer Fellow Victoria Chalk (Ovarian Psycos, Call Her Ganda).  

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