The 2010 EditFest NY, presented by American Cinema Editors (ACE) and the Manhattan Edit Workshop, will give editors and those interested in editing the chance to learn from some of the best editors currently in the business, including the editors of Avatar, Precious and the Pirates of the Caribbean series—all of whom will be on hand to talk about their process and interact with attendees. Festival organizer Josh Apter, of Manhattan Edit Workshop, answered some our questions about the highly-anticipated event, which takes place on June 11th and 12th, 2010.

Rebecca Pahle (MM): Last year’s EditFest gave participants insight into how to break into the editing business. Is the focus this year more on the process of editing itself, the nuts and bolts of the craft?

Josh Apter (JA): Hopefully last year’s EditFest struck a healthy balance between doing the work and getting the work, with a heavy focus on scene deconstruction as well as our “breaking into the business” talk. We hope to build on the best from last year’s show by bringing an incredible variety of panels dealing with all aspects of editing—from an entire panel with Oscar-winner Alan Heim literally walking you through his process on selected scenes to a panel devoted to the groundbreaking work done on the blockbuster hit, Avatar.

MM: Who are EditFest’s attendees? Are they people who have already broken into the industry, editing veterans or up-and-comers? Who would you encourage to attend?

JA: Editfest has something for everyone—students and fledgling editors looking to gain insight and experienced members of the industry interested in the intense atmosphere of creative ideas. I think there’s always something new to learn, regardless of how far along the career path you are, and last year’s audience was a great mix of newcomers, students and industry vets. I would encourage anyone who loves movies, cuts movies or just appreciates how they’re made to come and check it out.

MM: What sort of response was there to last June’s EditFest? What were some of the best attended events?

JA: The response to last year was overwhelming! People were amazed, not only at the amount they learned at the panels, but also how approachable the editors were at the Friday and Saturday night parties. It became a great networking event as well as an educational one. It’s hard to say what was best attended as all of the sessions were packed. The documentary and feature panels were buzzing all through the Saturday party though, and we are responding by having even bigger nonfiction and feature panels this year.

MM: Who are some of the editors you are most excited to present at this year’s event and what are some of the topics you’ll be covering?

JA: Having Alan Heim (Oscar winner for All That Jazz) deconstruct scenes from his work is something I’m really looking forward to. The idea came from Troy Takaki in last year’s panel, when he mentioned how much he learned as an assistant simply by watching an editor work and having them talk through the process. The idea of re-creating the experience of an assistant editor learning in the edit room (something that sadly no longer really exists) and gaining insight directly from someone with Alan’s skill and experience is very important for me. To just sit and absorb the experiences of editors working at this level is incredibly exciting. I love them all, so rather than single them out, I’ll mention just the one’s who’ve confirmed so far—more are coming!

Michael Berenbaum, ACE (Sex and the City 1&2); Geof Bartz, ACE (“Pumping Iron”, “Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth”); Milton Ginsberg, ACE (“Fidel”, “Meat Loaf: To Hell and Back”); Alan Heim, ACE (All That Jazz, Network, American History X); Norman Hollyn(Heathers, author of The Film Editing Handbook); Joe Klotz, ACE (Precious, Junebug); Mark Livolsi, ACE (The Blind Side, Wedding Crashers, The Devil Wears Prada); Andrew Mondshein, ACE (Remember Me, Chocolat, The Sixth Sense); Susan Morse, ACE (Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters); Sabrina Plisco, ACE (Charlotte’s Web, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow); Steven Rivkin, ACE (Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, &3, Ali, My Cousin Vinny); John Refoua, ACE (Avatar, Balls of Fury, “CSI Miami”); Geoffrey Richman, ACE (The Cove, Sicko); Randy Roberts, ACE (“Law & Order, SVU”); Jean Tsien (The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, Shut Up & Sing); Andrew Weisblum (Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Wrestler); and Jeffrey Wolf, ACE (First Sunday, Billy Madison).

For more information on EditFest, and to register, visit Fest NY/