NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Kait Plum

By Tammy Reese 

Kait Plum is a force to be reckoned with in the world of film editing, with a decade of experience and a knack for finding the emotional core of any project. Her journey to success is marked by notable achievements, from winning awards for her work in documentary filmmaking to making waves in the comedy genre with her latest project, Bad Shabbos.

In 2020, Kait gained recognition for her editing prowess with her first feature documentary, Higher Love, which garnered accolades such as the SlamDance Best Documentary award and the Best Editor award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Building on this success, her latest venture, Mediha (which was executive produced by NYWIFT Board Member Joyce Pierpoline), continues to receive acclaim on the festival circuit, earning her additional recognition, including the prestigious US Competition Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC 2023.

Transitioning from documentaries to narrative comedy, Kait’s latest project, Bad Shabbos, promises to be a game-changer. Premiering at the 2024 Tribeca Festival in the Spotlight Narrative section, the film presents a unique blend of comedy and drama centered around a Shabbat dinner gone awry. With a stellar ensemble cast including 2024 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Kyra Sedgwick and Method Man, Bad Shabbos is poised to captivate audiences with its blend of humor and heart.

In this exclusive interview, Kait shares insights into her approach to editing comedy, the memorable moments that shaped Bad Shabbos, and her journey as a member of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). From her passion for storytelling to her dedication to uplifting women in the industry, Kait Plum’s journey is one of talent, tenacity, and triumph.


As the editor of Bad Shabbos, could you share with us your approach to shaping the narrative and finding the emotional core of the story amidst its comedic elements?

With Bad Shabbos, I wouldn’t say I shaped the narrative or the core of the story, as much as added texture. During discussions with Daniel [Robbins], our director, we delved into films that shared thematic elements of our project. We drew inspiration from various films, like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which portrays an outsider embracing a new culture. Similarly, When Harry Met Sally offered insights into crafting timeless romances. We aimed to recapture the essence of ’90s rom coms, infusing our project with their charm.

Additionally, His Girl Friday guided us in maintaining a brisk dialogue pace. I carefully selected and edited takes, keeping these influential films in mind, hoping to capture their essence.

NYWIFT Member Kait Plum (photo courtesy of Kait Plum)


Bad Shabbos presents a unique blend of comedy and drama centered around a Shabbat dinner gone awry. What attracted you to this project?

What really drew me to Bad Shabbos was the script. There’s this unforgettable moment where David Paymer’s character creates a Jewish chant to distract their dinner guests. That scene was just so absurd and when I read it, I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. It’s those moments of sheer ridiculousness that make a film truly memorable.

Having spent years in the documentary scene, I’ve always had a passion for comedy editing. So, when the opportunity to work on Bad Shabbos came my way, I jumped at it without hesitation. It’s been an absolute dream come true to be part of this project, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.


The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including 2024 NYWIFT Muse Honoree Kyra Sedgwick and Method Man. How did their performances influence your editing process?

I’d say one of the best things about this project was the casting. From script to screen, the story truly came to life thanks to the incredible talents of actors like Kyra, Cliff, and Jon. But I have to say that someone who completely blew me away when watching the dailies was Milana Vayntrub. Her improv skills were off the charts. Every line she delivered had me in stitches, and I found myself constantly adding her ad-libs to scenes. She’s just naturally hilarious. Of course, every member of the cast brought their A-game, and discovering those golden moments within their takes was an absolute joy.


Kyra Sedgwick at the 2024 NYWIFT Muse Awards (Photo by Avis Boone)


Bad Shabbos is set to premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival in the Spotlight Narrative section. Can you share any memorable moments during the editing process that shaped the film’s final outcome?

The editing process for Bad Shabbos was remarkably smooth, and I can’t recall any major standout moments that significantly shaped the film’s final outcome. Everything fell into place so smoothly, and collaborating with a director like Daniel Robbins has truly been an enriching and rewarding experience. During the editing process, whenever we felt burnt out or just needed a breather, we’d take breaks and watch funny videos. It was a refreshing way to recharge and inject some levity into our work.

Daniel’s mantra was always, “If it’s good for the soul, it’s good for the film.” On one particularly memorable day, I made hot wings of varying spice levels and we watched Hot Ones featuring Pedro Pascal. That moment was truly a bonding experience during the editing process. It’s something that stuck with me, and I believe it had a subtle yet meaningful influence on the film.


What do you hope audiences will take away from Bad Shabbos, and what excites you most about sharing this film with viewers at the Tribeca Festival?

I hope audiences take away from Bad Shabbos that Kait Plum can edit! No… but seriously, I hope that audiences will see the similarities we all have when it comes to family and tradition, and in the end, recognize that love and laughter can conquer all. I simply cannot wait to share this project with the world, it’s been a blast to work on. I couldn’t ask for a better first narrative feature. It’s so funny and it’s exciting to finally have a film that isn’t about extremely serious subject matter. I’ve put my friends and family through a lot of hard to handle projects in my time editing documentaries. So I’m glad they can finally have a fun time with my work.


Still from Bad Shabbos (Photo Courtesy of Tribeca Festival)


As a member of New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), what motivated you to join the organization, and how has being a part of it influenced your career in the film industry?

I joined NYWIFT thanks to fellow members [Board Member] Gretchen McGowan and Roberta Friedman. They’ve been instrumental in my career as an editor, offering unwavering support and invaluable advice during tough times. They’re more than mentors; they’re like family.

Being part of this organization has brought me immense fulfillment. The connections I’ve made with other women who navigate similar challenges in a male-dominated industry have been truly transformative. Together, we’re stronger. I’m deeply grateful to be part of this community of remarkable and empowered women.


What advice would you share for aspiring editors?

The best advice I can offer aspiring editors is to prioritize networking. Seek out other editors who are involved in projects you admire and reach out to them. Ask to grab coffee, inquire about their journeys, and seek their advice. The editing community is incredibly supportive, and we’re here to uplift one another. I’ve never encountered an editor who wasn’t willing to lend a helping hand.

The majority of my opportunities have come from my fellow colleagues. The guidance I’ve received from them has been crucial in advancing my career. They understand the challenges young editors face and know how to navigate the industry. We have each other’s backs, so it’s crucial to build those relationships and learn from one another.



Connect with Kait Plum on Instagram at @kait_pizzapie


Tammy Reese

Tammy Reese Tammy Reese is CEO of Visionary Minds PR & Media, and a New York award winning Actress, Writer, and Journalist.

View all posts by Tammy Reese

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