Open Call For Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship Now Open!


The Open Call for submissions for our 2016-17 fellowship begins today! The online application must be completed by September 30, 2015. There is no fee to apply.

The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship honors the memory of our friend and gifted editor Karen Schmeer. Inspired by Karen's generous nature, the fellowship assists emerging documentary editors by developing their talent, expanding their creative community, and furthering their career aspirations. We work with American Cinema Editors (ACE), Sundance Institute, Manhattan Edit Workshop, SXSW, IFFBoston, Stranger than Fiction, and Rooftop Films to offer a wide array of opportunities for promising editors.

To learn more about the amazing person that Karen was, read here.

Karen Schmeer

Karen Schmeer

If you are an emerging documentary film editor who has cut between one and three films with at least one of those being a documentary, please take a look at our FAQ to see all of our eligibility rules.

If you know an editor or editors who would benefit from this opportunity, please send them to our website.

Anna Gustavi, our 2015-16 fellow, is having an exciting year. She's been spending a lot of time in the edit room cutting One Bullet Afghanistan, a documentary directed by Carol Dysinger that explores the profound effect one stray bullet can have on a family, a community, a nation, and a war. Earlier this year, her first film, Seymour: An Introduction, a documentary directed by Ethan Hawke, played in a ton of theaters across the country. Her fellowship benefits have brought her to the SXSW Film Festival, ACE EditFest LA, Manhattan Edit Workshop's "Sight, Sound & Story” seminar, and to an Avid class at MEWShop. And she’s been consulting with her generous mentors Bob Eisenhardt, ACE; Matthew Hamachek; and Toby Shimin. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings to Anna.

Past recipients were Colin Nusbaum (Tough Love, The Sheik and I), Jim Hession (Rich Hill, Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present), Lindsay Utz (In CountryBully), and Erin Casper (American Promise,Our School). Read about all of them here.

Good luck to our applicants and thank you to all of our supporters.

2015-16 Fellow Anna Gustavi (photo by Tanya Braganti )

2015-16 Fellow Anna Gustavi (photo by Tanya Braganti)


Robin Hessman, Board Member
Ann Kim, Board Member
Ellie Lee, Board Member
Garret Savage, Board President
Rachel Shuman, Board Member
Maya Mumma, Website
Ashley Thompson, Social Media


The yearlong Fellowship is designed to foster the development of an emerging documentary film editor by creating opportunities for him or her to grow creatively and expand his or her professional community. The experience includes mentorship; passes to SXSW, IFFBoston, Stranger than Fiction, ACE EditFest, Rooftop Films, and MEWshop's "Sight, Sound and Story" summit; travel, accommodations, and per diem to two of those events; a MEWshop editing class, a $1000 Rooftop Films equipment rental credit; a $1000 cash award; "Special" membership in ACE (includes a subscription to Cinema Editor magazine); a $250 Powell's Books gift certificate; a portrait session with Tanya Braganti Photography; and a DVD collection of all 13 of Karen’s films.


Thanks as always to our wonderful partners: American Cinema Editors (ACE), Sundance Institute Documentary Film ProgramManhattan Edit WorkshopSXSWIFFBostonRooftop FilmsStranger Than Fiction, and Tanya Braganti Photography.


In addition to all the benefits we offer the fellow, we also fund a $500 cash award for the winner of IFFBoston's annual Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing. The 2015 winners are Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker and Joshua Woltermann for Welcome to Leith.