Elon junior named ACE Student Editing Competition nominee

Lillian Engel ’19 placed in the top three of the American Cinema Editors’ Student Editing Competition, earning an invitation to the 2018 ACE Eddie Awards held on Jan. 26 in Beverly Hills, California.

Elon University junior Lillian Engel was named a top-three finalist for the 2018 American Cinema Editors’ Student Editing Competition, distinguishing herself in a contest that featured participants from film schools and universities across the nation. With the nomination, the cinema and television arts major received an invitation to this week’s 2018 ACE Eddie Awards to rub elbows with Hollywood’s biggest names in film and television.

Every year ACE – an honorary society for film editors – selects current students for its editing competition and provides them with dailies from a television project. The students are tasked with editing the material into a final product, with the top three finalists invited to the Eddie Awards, recognizing the year’s outstanding editing in film, TV and documentary categories. The overall student contest winner will be named at the ceremony, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26, in Beverly Hills, California.

“It’s so exciting to have been recognized for my work, especially by an organization like the American Cinema Editors,” said Engel, who will attend the ceremonies with her mother. “There is the potential to meet so many brilliant and talented editors at these events and I am looking forward to meeting some of them and having the opportunity to ask them so many questions about their work and lives in the industry.”

According to J McMerty ’00, director of the Elon in Los Angeles program, Engel’s nomination is well-deserved and not surprising because he considers the Communications Fellow an “all-star.”

“This is a prestigious editing competition, from the most prestigious organization in the professional editing community, and I couldn’t be more proud of Lillian and the work she’s done since arriving at Elon,” McMerty said.

Engel’s ACE recognition comes on the heels of her top-five finish in the 2017 Coca-Cola and Regal Films program, a contest for up-and-coming filmmakers. The program provided Engel and Azzurra Catucci ’18 with $15,000 to produce a 35-second film that illustrates the emotions of the moviegoing experience.

As for the ACE competition, participants were provided dailies footage from a previously aired television show and asked to put the scene together. They also received a script and script supervisor notes.

​“The most difficult part of editing the dailies footage was initially deciding how to organize it all, and then choosing how I wanted to tell the story from there,” Engel said. “There were many takes of the same scene, so it was up to me to decide which performances I thought worked the best together.”

​Engel apparently made the right choices, earning a top-three finish and an invitation to the awards ceremony. Her fellow student nominees are Charlie Malcolm of Florida State University and Mariah Zenk of Missouri State University.

The competition winner will be announced at the Eddie Awards ceremony and receive a special Student Award, as well as recognition in Hollywood trade papers.

This is the second time an Elon student has been named a top-three finalist in the ACE Student Editing Competition. Engel follows in the footsteps of Ben Stringfellow ’15, who received the same distinction in 2015.