Making the Cut: Editors Talk Collaborations and Career

Editing is such a fluid experience. You never know what you will need for the story or what the working relationship with the director is going to be like. Each situation is different.

Forging a career as an editor can be just as varied. Before digital technology and software became as accessible as they are today, you came up the ranks from apprentice, assistant, to one day becoming an editor. Now you could take on a low-budget film, working as your own assistant and editor, or perhaps collaborate with an established editor and come on as a co-editor. Always, the major skill is storytelling & building relationships. It’s about living your life and understanding that the material for editorial decisions can come from anywhere, and everything you experience. 

Join this panel of talented women editors/filmmakers as they share their journey to the edit chair, and explore the collaborations they’ve built along the way.


R. A. Fedde is an editor and producer, whose film and television work has covered a wide range, from two past presidents to paparazzi on the run. Her editing credits include 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America: Antietam, winner of a 2006 Emmy Award for Best Non-Fiction Series; $ellebrity, which premiered at South by Southwest in 2012; Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde, which Fedde edited and co-produced, premiered at Slamdance 2013; The Last One, won the Best Social Issues Documentary Award at the 2014 Atlanta Docufest and aired on Showtime in December 2014; and Once and for All, which closed the DocNYC 2015 with a sold-out house. Her editing on Frontlne’s Growing Up Online garnered another nomination for a 2009 Emmy. In 2004, Fedde won the prestigious Gracie Allen Award for her work as editor on Pure Magic: The Mother Daughter Bond. Currently she is working on a feature-length PBS project on WWI and a short documentary project of her own about Hindu god lithographs.

Carla Gutierrez is an editor based in New York City. She edited the Oscar nominated film La Carona for HBO and the Emmy-nominated documentary Reportero, which was broadcast on POV. She also edited Kingdom of Shadows that premiered at SXSW and opened theatrically in Mexico. Her latest work, When Two Worlds Collide will have its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival as part of the world documentary competition. Gutierrez’s other editing credits include: Wonder Women!Las MarthasTales of the WariaShe Is The MatadorSurviving Hitler: A Love Storyand Iraq For Sale. She has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit Lab, and a mentor for Firelight Producers’ Lab.

Geeta Gandbhir’s honors include an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards and three Peabody Awards. Most recently, a feature documentary she produced with Perri Peltz and directed with Academy Award winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. She is currently co-directing and co-producing a Conversation series on race with The New York Times Op-Docs. She co-directed and edited the film Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr. with Perri Peltz for HBO. Additional notable works as an editor include, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James BrownMoms Mabley: I Got Somethin’ to Tell YouWhen the Levees Broke … A Requiem in Four ActsBy the People: The Election of Barack ObamaMusic by PrudenceBudrusIf God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise, and God is the Bigger Elvis.


Sheila Shirazi’s feature editor credits include the forthcoming Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which will premiere on HBO later this year, and Shola Lynch’s Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. She has been an assistant editor for the Academy Award-winning Inside Job, the groundbreaking PBS series, Women, War & Peace, and the Sundance Documentary Edit Lab. She produced and wrote the film Arusi Persian Wedding, which won an ITVS Open Call finishing grant and was broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lensseries. Shirazi also enjoys the creative (and financial rewards) of editing short-form content for ad agencies, NGO’s and corporate clients.


Cheree Dillon (Moderator) is an independent film/tv editor based in New York City. Most recently she co-edited Death by Design, a feature documentary collaboration from Ambrica Productions and Impact Partners. Her first feature doc, Off and Running, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS’s P.O.V. series, and nomina

ted for an Emmy. Cheree’s other feature doc credits include the broadcast version of The Homestretch for PBS’s Independent Lens 2015 series, Sense The WindSons of BenSurviving Amina, and Song of Hannah, along with cutting long format programs for Discovery, NBC Sports, and The Science Channel. She has also edited several award-winning short docs including Southmost USAAn Imaginary Thing, and Article of Faith. Dillon is a member of the NYWIFT documentary committee and has produced several panels focused on interactive filmmaking, independent film distribution and social media/marketing.

Produced by Cheree Dillon

 Hosted by


February 24 @ 7:00pm
7:00 pm — 8:30 pm (1h 30′)

Technicolor PostWorks New York
110 Leroy Street, 1st Floor
(Between Hudson and Greenwich Streets)

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.