Sold Out! Women Make the Cut: A Discussion with Female Documentary Editors

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) partners with The International Documentary Association (IDA) to present a panel discussion with female documentary editors in a special East Coast edition of the IDA Conversation Series. Special support provided by our partner at POV. Panelists include film editors Mary Manhardt (Making a Murderer, Street Fight), Carla Gutierrez (RBG, Reportero) and Maya Mumma (OJ: Made in America; Daughters of Destiny). The program will feature clips and discussion between panelists and moderator/editor/NYWIFT member Cheree Dillon (Off and Running, Massacre River).

Among the cinematic crafts, editing has become a skill in which many talented women excel. In features, Dede Allen, Thelma Schoonmaker and Sally Menke are but a few that have become part of the pantheon of film editors. Many factors made editing more attractive to women: editing was compared with sewing – film required “cutting” and sequences were “stitched” together; editing was a 9 to 5 job with stable hours and decent pay; it also didn’t require to be out in the field and instead took place in the darkness and intimacy of the editing suite.

In documentaries, we are seeing the same trend of strong and talented female editors working on compelling films and television series. We will see how the editors first got involved in film; what perspectives and skills women can bring to the editing process; the reasons behind the proliferation of female editors in documentary; and the negotiation and balance between the editor and director.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to delve into the fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from the female editors of powerful documentaries. Ample time for Q&A will be included in the program.

Maya Mumma, ACE, was an editor on the Academy Award winning documentary O.J.: Made in America for which she was honored with an ACE Eddie and a Primetime Emmy. She began her career in the edit room of the Academy Award nominated documentary Restrepo, and went on to edit the Emmy nominated films Which Way Is the Front Line From Here (HBO), Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (HBO), the Peabody Award winning Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (HBO), Daughters of Destiny (Netflix Original Series), John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls (HBO), King in the Wilderness (HBO) and A Journey of a Thousand Miles, as part of WNET’s Women, War and Peace II series (PBS 2019).

Mary Manhardt is a documentary film editor and consultant, specializing in verité. Her work has screened at festivals including Sundance, the New York Film Festival, Hot Docs, SXSW, Tribeca, and IDFA, and appeared on HBO, PBS, MTV, ABC and Netflix. Among her credits: The Farm, The Execution of Wanda Jean, girlhood, Farmingville, Street Fight, American Teen, Racing Dreams, Monica & David, Wham! Bam! Islam!, A Son’s Sacrifice, Bronx Princess, Camp Victory, Afghanistan, Pelotero, American Promise, Medora, The Babushkas of Chernobyl, Tig, If the dancer dances . . . and aka Jane Roe. She co-edited and consulted on the first season of Making a Murderer, the 10 part doc series for Netflix, which received 4 Primetime Emmy Awards. Mary won an Emmy in 1999 for Picture Editing for The Farm, and was nominated again in 2015 for American Promise. Mary is now editing the series Philly DA, for directors Yoni Brook and Ted Passon.

Carla Gutierrez is an ACE Eddie-nominated documentary editor. She recently cut the Oscar nominated film RBG, about the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Carla edited the Oscar nominated film La Corona (HBO) and the Emmy nominated documentaries Reportero (POV), Kingdom of Shadows (POV) and Farewell Ferris Wheel (American Reframed). Her credits also include: When Two Worlds Collide  which received a Special Jury Award at Sundance and a Cinema Eye Honors nomination; Chavela  about renowned Mexican singer Chavela Vargas, which premiered at the Berlinale and won both the Audience and Grand Jury Awards at Outfest; the Independent Lens film Wonder Women!  which premiered at SXSW; and the POV  film She is the Matador.  Carla has been a creative adviser for the Sundance Edit Lab, and a mentor for the Firelight Producers’ Lab. She is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures, and received a Masters in Documentary Film from Stanford University.

Cheree Dillon (Moderator) is a documentary film/TV editor based in New York City. She edited the Emmy-nominated film Off and Running that aired on PBS’s POV series. Her other editor credits include Massacre RiverUnaccompanied ChildrenSense the WindSong of Hannah, Cosmo, and the broadcast release of Emmy-winner, The Homestretch. She was segment editor on The Talk: Race In America for WNET, directed by Sam Pollard, and other specials for NBC Sports, The Science Channel, PBS, and The World Channel. She also worked on the award-winning features, Death by Design, Surviving Amina and short docs such as An Imaginary Thing and Southmost USA. As a member of New York Women in Film & Television’s Documentary Committee, Cheree has produced panels on subjects such as career building in post-production, interactive filmmaking, independent film distribution, and social media marketing.


Special Thanks to


Special support provided by:





Members and Supporters of the IDA



Public Transportation:

The closest Subway stop is the F train York Street Station. Alternatively, you can take the A or C train to the High Street – Brooklyn Bridge Station.

Cheree Dillon, Moderator

April 2 @ 7:00pm
7:00 pm — 8:30 pm (1h 30′)

POV Screening Room
20 Jay Street Suite 940
Brooklyn, NY 11201

NYWIFT Member Event
$15 (+ Fee)


Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

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.