UNCSA Film students sweep American Cinema Editors Student Awards for second time

Three students in the internationally ranked School of Filmmaking swept the Student Eddie Awards sponsored by American Cinema Editors (ACE), and two alumni contributed to films that won best-in-category awards.

Sam Bailey of the United Kingdom won the coveted Anne V. Coates Award for Student Editing. He was also a finalist last year. This year’s finalists were Kendall Best of Kernersville, North Carolina, and Conor Callahan of Juno Beach, Florida. All are third-year students in the picture editing and sound design program.

Sam Bailey won the ACE Student Award

Sam Bailey won the 2021 ACE Student Award. He was also nominated in 2020.

"The School of Filmmaking has a strong history at the ACE Student Editing Awards, which is an important benchmark for our students and their faculty mentors,” said Interim Dean of Filmmaking Dale Pollock. “It is no small feat to have your work judged alongside that of your peers across the nation. We congratulate Sam, Kendall and Conor for their best-in-class work.”

The Eddie Awards were presented Saturday in a virtual black-tie ceremony hosted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Writer and producer Aaron Sorkin, a winner of Golden Globe, Academy and Emmy awards (“The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Social Network,” “West Wing”), presented the student award.

In addition to the student awards, two alumni of the School of Filmmaking contributed to winning films and were acknowledged in acceptance remarks on Saturday. Kaitlyn Ali (B.FA. ’18) was editorial production assistant for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which won best edited feature film, and Eric Barker (B.F.A. ’11) was assistant editor for “SOUL,” winner for best edited animated film.

It is no small feat to have your work judged alongside that of your peers across the nation. We congratulate Sam, Kendall and Conor for their best-in-class work.

Interim Dean of Filmmaking Dale Pollock

“Alumni of the School of Filmmaking, in all disciplines, are working on projects that are celebrated by industry insiders, critics and the public,” Pollock said. “We’re proud to have our editing program so well represented at the ACE Awards.”

UNCSA received its first Eddie nomination in 2015, and was the first school to sweep the nominations in 2016. 

Faculty mentors for film editing are Michael Miller ACE, Julian Semilian and Inbal Lessner ACE.

Competitors for the student award were asked to edit a scene with footage (dailies) and script notes from a professionally produced film or television project.

Consistently recognized as among the nation’s best training programs for filmmakers, the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts has produced some of today’s most creative storytellers, including Danny McBrideDavid Gordon GreenBrett HaleyRebecca Green, Jody Hill, Jeff NicholsVera HerbertMartha Stephens, Aaron Katz, Zach Sievers and Zoë White. The award-winning faculty in the School of Filmmaking have decades of real-world experience and a passion for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in concentrations that include animation, cinematography, directing, film music composition, picture editing and sound design, producing, production design and visual effects, and screenwriting. The film school’s Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL) is dedicated to the exploration and production of immersive storytelling content.

American Cinema Editors was formed in 1950 to advance the art and science of the film editing profession; to increase the entertainment value of motion pictures by attaining artistic preeminence and scientific achievement in the creative art of film editing; and to bring into close alliance those film editors who desire to advance the prestige and dignity of the film editing profession.

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April 20, 2021