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Equity in the Edit Room



About the Event

Assistant editor is the first stop on the path of any editor’s career development journey. However, too many BIPOC assistant editors get stuck in that role for years, without opportunities to develop their creative skills and advance to the editor’s chair. A new working group within the Alliance of Documentary Editors has taken on this flawed talent pipeline and the need for real change in the culture of the edit room. The group is launching a database of BIPOC editors, along with an initiative to standardize the intermediate and creative role of Associate Editor on a post team. Video is ASL interpreted, post-captioning to come.

Learn more about their effort and hear from a member of the working group, a mentor/mentee editing team, and industry producers who are working towards change in the edit room.

Left to right: Headshot of Carla Gutierrez, a white Latina with dark brown hair, wearing a black turtle neck and thick black glasses. Headshot of Hannah Choe, a Korean-American woman with glasses in a light blue shirt with pink flowers. Headshot of Faisal Azam, a South Asian male, wearing dark clothes, and with a hand at his chin. Headshot of Kristi Jacobson, a cis gendered white woman with curly brown hair, wearing a leather jacket and gold necklace and hoop earrings. Headshot of Alisa Payne, a middle-aged Black woman with long wavy hair and a black blazer. Headshot of Maya Mumma, a caucasian female adult with brown hair pulled back, wearing a black shirt and denim jacket, outside in a garden.

Speaker Info

Carla Gutierrez, Documentary Editor

Carla Gutierrez is an Emmy and ACE Eddie nominated documentary editor. She edited the Oscar-nominated films RBG and LA CORONA, and recently completed PRAY AWAY (Telluride, Tribeca). Her work has received awards at Sundance, Tribeca, Berlinale, Outfest, Critic’s Choice Awards, National Board of Review Awards and DuPont Columbia Awards. She recently edited a documentary feature about the great American cook and TV personality, Julia Child, for Imagine Entertainment and Sony Picture Classics. Carla is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the American Cinema Editors.

Hannah Choe, Associate Editor

Hannah Choe (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker with a decade of experience in documentary film, which includes ten features and five shorts. She was an associate editor of Dark Money (Shortlisted for Oscars, Sundance in competition, 2018), Geographies of Kinship (CAAMFest, 2019) and I Am Not Going to Change 400 Years in Four. In 2018, she was a contributing editor at the Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab and a Karen Schmeer Diversity in the Edit Room fellow. Hannah was born and raised in the Bay Area, California, and is the proud daughter of Korean immigrants. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema from San Francisco State University with a minor in Asian American Studies. 

Faisal Azam, Editor / Screenwriter

Faisal Azam is an award-winning film editor and screenwriter best known for the Oscar-nominated documentary short St. Louis Superman; Brooklyn Film Festival Grand Prize Winner Without Shepherds; and Salar, which won Best Dramatic Short at the Austin Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. In 2016, Faisal co-wrote H8, which was a top-ten finalist in numerous national competitions and was a winner in WeScreenplay's 2018 TV pilot contest. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Faisal immigrated to the US at age 15, graduated magna cum laude from UC Berkeley with a degree in Rhetoric, and worked as an advertising analyst before becoming a filmmaker. Over the course of his career, he has worked with National Geographic, Dan Rather Reports, USA Network, Al Jazeera, Sports Illustrated, HBO, The New York Times and Washington Post. His work has been featured at Sundance, Tribeca, Clermont-Ferrand, Big Sky, Palm Springs, Slamdance, and BFI London.

Kristi Jacobson, Director/Producer 

Kristi Jacobson is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker with two decades of experience as a director and producer of non-fiction features, series and short-form content. Recent work includes SOLITARY (HBO), winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award nominee; I Am Not Going to Change 400 Years in Four, co-directed with Angela Tucker (ITVS/ Independent Lens); Cartel Bank, episode of Dirty Money Season 1 (Netflix); A Place at the Table (Magnolia Pictures/Participant Media) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won the IDA Pare Lorentz Award, and was a nominee for Best Feature Documentary by the PGA. Jacobson is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS), the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) and is a two-time Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. She has received grants and fellowships from Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and many others. 

Alisa Payne, Producer

Alisa Payne is an acclaimed producer whose career spans over 20 years. Alisa has worked on projects for HBO, Lionsgate, Netflix, ESPN, VH1 and a host of other studios and networks, producing socially conscious stories, and highlighting the contributions of people of color and women.  Her credits include the short documentary series The Conversation (a reprisal of the NYTimes Op Doc short film series A Conversation on Race), the historic 2016 Democratic National Convention, and most recently the Critic’s Choice nominated Between the World and Me (HBO). She is currently working on a feature film adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped from the Beginning and as a consulting producer on the 1619 Documentary Series.

Moderator: Maya Mumma, Editor / Interim President, Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship

Maya Mumma, ACE, was an editor on the Academy Award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America for which she was honored with a Best Editing award from the LA Film Critics Association, an ACE Eddie, and a Primetime Emmy. She began her career in the edit room of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Restrepo, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. She has gone on to edit films such as Which Way Is the Front Line From Here, Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, and A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers. Most recently Maya edited the Emmy-winning King in the Wilderness and edited and produced the Emmy and Peabody award-winning True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality. She is the interim president of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship.