Just a brief note to say how much I enjoyed Kevin Lewis’ “The Great Sequelization of Hollywood” (CineMontage MAY-JUN 13) and look forward to the sequel. However, his “This Month in Film History” article entitled “Mad Cowboy” really was fascinating and whet my appetite to take a fresh look at Hud (1963). It has been years since I’ve seen it.

I’m a motion picture film editor and the last time I saw Hud, I was far from my goal, so it will be fun with my new perspective — and Lewis’ insight. Thanks for the terrific research and writing.

Conrad Buff, A.C.E.
Picture Editor, Malibu, CA

Doc Editors Recognition Docked
I was reading the MAR-APR 13 issue of CineMontage, and I have to take issue with a couple of claims in the article “LA Film Critics Bestow First Editing Award”:

1) There was no mention of the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) recognition of editing. In the past, IDA has honored Kate Amend, ACE (2005), and Sam Pollard (2008) for Career Achievement in editing. We then decided to add the Creative Recognition Awards for achievement in editing, cinematography, writing and use of music. These go to the respective artists on specific films from the awards year, and the editing awards over the past two years have gone to Rodney Ascher for Room 237 and Gregers Sall and Chris King for Senna.

2) The Sundance Film Festival is tagged in the article and the adjacent “Petition for Editors Recognition” ad as an organization that does not recognize film editing among its award categories. In fact, the festival gives two awards for editing: in the World Documentary and US Documentary competitions. These awards have been around for at least a decade.

There was no mention of the International Documentary Association’s recognition of editing.

You gotta give the doc community some love — especially since you featured Larry Silk, ACE, as an American Cinema Editors career achievement honoree in the same issue!

Thomas White
Editor, Documentary magazine
International Documentary Association
Los Angeles

Our petition (
www.EditorsPetition.com) reaches out to the industry to support our effort to convince film festivals and critics organizations, which already recognize cinematography and/or production design, to add the category of film editing. There are hundreds of organizations that already recognize the creative contribution of the editor, and we commend them for it. However, our focus has been on those that fit the criteria mentioned above. We have high praise for any organization that recognizes and continues to recognize film editing, and the International Documentary Association has done a great job in doing that.

The article in CineMontage was covering an event that was directly related to our efforts. The LA Film Critics Association’s decision to add the Best Film Editing category was a really big deal because that marked the first time it recognized editors in its 38-year history.

As for the Sundance Film Festival, you are correct; it has recognized editing in its documentary categories. However, as hard as we have tried, as of today, we are still unable to convince them to add a category for Best Film Editing Narrative. With a festival that recognizes Cinematography in both documentary and narrative categories, we feel that the omission of the narrative editing category makes absolutely no sense.

We have a similar situation with the Tribeca Film Festival, which recognizes categories in both narrative and documentary films. Tribeca too has an award for documentary editing but none for narrative film editing. In narrative film, it recognizes Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay, Director and Cinematographer. But, again, the only recognition for editing in the festival is for Best Documentary Editing.

It seems that, in both of these cases at least, documentary editors are getting more respect and recognition than editors of narrative feature films. Ironically, both festivals have feature filmmakers as founders: Robert Redford at Sundance and Robert De Niro at Tribeca. After this many years in the business, these guys should know the important creative contribution of the film editor, and should initiate some change in policy.
Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.
Committee for Creative Recognition, ACE, MPEG