Announcing the Open Call for the 2018 Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship


Eighth Annual Fellowship Provides Remarkable Opportunities for Emerging Documentary Film Editors
Open Call for Submissions Begins AUGUST 2, 2017
Received by Deadline is SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

Now in its eighth year, the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship champions emerging documentary editors by developing their talent, expanding their creative community, and furthering their career aspirations. In collaboration with American Cinema Editors (ACE), Manhattan Edit Workshop, SXSW, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and other partners, the fellowship offers a wide array of opportunities including mentorship with established editors. The fellowship also co-hosts events with partners throughout the year, including the annual Art of Editing Lunch at the Sundance Film Festival. The fellowship will be presented at the 2018 SXSW Film Awards.

Awarded once a year, the fellowship honors the memory of gifted editor Karen Schmeer (“The Fog of War”; “Fast, Cheap & Out of Control”; “Bobby Fischer Against the World”), who was killed in a hit-and-run at the age of 39, on January 29, 2010.

Editors who have cut at least one feature documentary (60 minutes or more) but no more than three are encouraged to apply.

Recent films edited by former fellows include “Risk” (editor Erin Casper), “Quest” (Lindsay Utz), “The Lovers and the Despot” (Jim Hession), and “An Inconvenient Sequel” (Colin Nusbaum).

OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS — the fellowship will accept applications now through September 29, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their status in January 2018. More details about the fellowship and application requirements/forms can be found online: 

The 2018-19 fellowship benefits include:

• EDITOR MENTORSHIP — with guidance from American Cinema Editors, the fellow will be given a mentorship with an established editor or editors who fit the fellow’s interests.

• ACE EDITFEST LOS ANGELES ADMISSION — a seminar event featuring working experts in the field of editing.

• MANHATTAN EDIT WORKSHOP CLASS — editing class at New York City’s Manhattan Edit Workshop; an  Adobe, Blackmagic, Assimilate & Avid Authorized editing and training facility.

• SXSW FILM BADGE — full access to film screenings, panels, mentor sessions and more at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

• IFFBOSTON FESTIVAL CHROME PASS — full access to films, panels and more at the Independent Film Festival Boston.

• MANHATTAN EDIT WORKSHOP’S “SIGHT, SOUND & STORY” EVENT ADMISSION — a day-long seminar with editing professionals in New York CIty.

• ROOFTOP FILMS SUMMER SERIES FRIEND MEMBERSHIP & $1000 EQUIPMENT RENTAL CREDIT — complimentary entry for the fellow and a guest to all regularly priced Summer Series shows at New York’s long-running outdoor film festival, plus an equipment rental credit for up to $1000 for a projector, sound system, screen,

• INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION’S GETTING REAL CONFERENCE PASS — a three-day conference in Los Angeles… designed by documentary filmmakers for documentary filmmakers.

• CAMDEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ¬PASS — located in Camden, Maine, CIFF is one of the top 12 documentary film festivals in the world.

• CONTEMPLATING THE CUT ADMISSION — an annual editing workshop co-hosted by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Schmeer Fellowship

• TRAVEL EXPENSES / ACCOMMODATIONS — the fellow will be provided with travel, three nights of accommodations, and a per diem to two of the festivals/classes above, based on the fellow’s preference.

• SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL CREDENTIAL — access to non-theater festival venues such as the Filmmaker Lodge, New Frontier, and the Sundance ASCAP Music Café.

• AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE) “SPECIAL” MEMBERSHIP — benefits include subscription to Cinema Editor Magazine

• INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION (IDA) ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP — dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture.

• STRANGER THAN FICTION SEASON PASS — exclusive documentary film screenings at New York City’s IFC Center.

• ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD MEMBERSHIP — includes Adobe Premiere Pro

• $1000 CASH AWARD

• $250 POWELL’S BOOKS ONLINE GIFT CERTIFICATE — an online gift certificate to Powell’s Books (Karen’s favorite), based in Portland, Oregon.



KAREN SCHMEER, ACE, was an award-winning film editor whose work included Errol Morris’ “The Fog of War” (Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary), “Mr. Death,” and “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.” She edited “Sketches of Frank Gehry,” directed by Sydney Pollack, “The Same River Twice,” “My Father the Genius,” and “American Experience: A Brilliant Madness.” Her fiction film “American Son” premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For the HBO film “Sergio,” Karen won the Best Editing Award at Sundance in 2009. Karen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended Boston University. On her way home from editing Liz Garbus’ “Bobby Fischer Against the World,” Karen was struck and killed by a car fleeing a robbery in New York City on January 29, 2010.

AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE) is an honorary association of professional film editors that celebrates & promotes the art of editing. Editors are included on the basis of professional achievement, dedication to educating others, and commitment to the craft of editing.

Contact information:
Garret Savage
Board President, KSFEF

For more information, please visit or email
Twitter @KarenSchmeerFEF