The Academy Award for Best Film Editing is one of the annual awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Nominations for this award are closely correlated with the Academy Award for Best Picture. For 33 consecutive years, 1981 to 2013, every Best Picture winner had also been nominated for the Film Editing Oscar, and about two thirds of the Best Picture winners have also won for Film Editing. Only the principal, "above the line" editor(s) as listed in the film's credits are named on the award; additional editors, supervising editors, etc. are not currently eligible. The nominations for this Academy Award are determined by a ballot of the voting members of the Editing Branch of the Academy; there were 220 members of the Editing Branch in 2012. The members may vote for up to five of the eligible films in the order of their preference; the five films with the largest vote totals are selected as nominees. The Academy Award itself is selected from the nominated films by a subsequent ballot of all active and life members of the Academy. This process is essentially the reverse of that of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA); nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Editing are done by a general ballot of Academy voters, and the winner is selected by members of the editing chapter.
This award was first given for films released in 1934. The name of this award is occasionally changed; in 2008, it was listed as the Academy Award for Achievement in Film Editing.
Four film editors have won this award three times in their career:
- Ralph Dawson won for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
- Daniel Mandell won for The Pride of the Yankees (1942), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and The Apartment (1960).
- Michael Kahn won for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Schindler's List (1993), and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
- Thelma Schoonmaker won for Raging Bull (1980), The Aviator (2004), and The Departed (2006).
To date, two film directors have won this award, James Cameron and Alfonso Cuarón for the films Titanic and Gravity, respectively. Directors David Lean, Steve James, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (under the alias "Roderick Jaynes"), Michel Hazanavicius, Jean-Marc Vallée (under the alias "John Mac McMurphy") and Chloé Zhao have been nominated for editing their own films, with Cameron, Cuarón, and the Coens each being nominated for the award twice. Additionally, Best Film Editing winner, Walter Murch, although known for film editing and sound, directed the Oscar nominated Return to Oz and is, to date, the only person with Oscars for both sound engineering and film editing, winning them in the same year for his work on The English Patient. Also, nominated editors Robert Wise, Francis D. Lyon, winner for Body and Soul and Hal Ashby, winner for In the Heat of the Night, became directors whose films were in turn nominated for Best Film Editing, namely Somebody Up There Likes Me, I Want to Live!, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, The Sand Pebbles and The Andromeda Strain for Wise, Crazylegs for Lyon and Bound for Glory and Coming Home for Ashby.
|Most awards||3 awards||Michael Kahn||1998||Awards resulted from 8 nominations|
|Daniel Mandell||1960||Awards resulted from 5 nominations|
|Ralph Dawson||1938||Awards resulted from 4 nominations|
|Most nominations||8 nominations||Michael Kahn||2012||Nominations resulted in 3 awards|
|Most nominations without a win||6 nominations||Gerry Hambling||1996||Died in 2013|
|Frederic Knudtson||1963||Died in 1964|
Winners and nominees
|Sound of Metal||Mikkel E. G. Nielsen|
|The Father||Yorgos Lamprinos|
|Promising Young Woman||Frédéric Thoraval|
|The Trial of the Chicago 7||Alan Baumgarten|
The following editors have received multiple nominations for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. This list is sorted by the number of total awards won (with the number of total nominations listed in parentheses).
- BAFTA Award for Best Editing
- Academy Award for Best Sound Editing
- Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing
- Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Editing
- American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
- American Cinema Editors Award for Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical
- Harris, Mark (January 6, 2008). "Which Editing is a Cut Above?". The New York Times. In 1980, Ordinary People won as Best Picture, but its editor Jeff Kanew was not nominated for Best Editing.
- Dimond, Anna (December 13, 2013). "Why Editing Nominations Predict the Best Picture Oscar". Variety. Interviews with prominent film editors exploring the correlation between the Academy Awards for Best Film Editing and for Best Film.
- "Rule Thirteen—Special Rules for the Film Editing Award". 79th Academy Awards Rules for Distinguished Achievements in 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-07-18. Rules are published for each year's awards. In earlier years, different rules applied; thus Robert Parrish was nominated for All the King's Men (1949) with a credit as an "editorial consultant".
- "Academy Branches". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. February 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-02-24.
- "Orange British Academy Film Awards: Rules and Guidelines 2008-2009" (PDF). British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28.
- "FILM EDITING FACTS: MOST NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS" (PDF). Oscars.org. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
- "Film Editing Facts" (PDF). Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. March 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- Listing generated by searching "The Official Academy Awards Database". Archived from the original on 2009-02-08. for all "film editing" awards.
- "Academy Awards 2017: Complete list of Oscar winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- Hipes, Patrick (January 23, 2018). "Oscar Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads Way With 13". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Hipes, Patrick (January 22, 2019). "Oscar Nominations – The Complete List Of Noms". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 22, 2019.