Today Joi McMillon, editor of the Oscar-nominated film Moonlight, made history by becoming the first black woman to ever receive an Oscar nomination in the editing category. She received the nomination alongside her co-editor for the film, Nat Sanders. Moonlight is currently up for 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Actress (Naomie Harris), Best Musical Score, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and of course Best Editing.
Surprisingly, Moonlight marks McMillon’s first feature-length editing credit; however, she has been perfecting her craft over a vast body of work that spans well over a decade. McMillon attended Florida State University with director Barry Jenkins, and cut Jenkins’ first feature Medicine for Melancholy. She was also responsible for editing indie hits such as Humpday and Short Term 12.
McMillon worked as an apprentice editor to Terilyn A. Shropshire on Kasi Lemmon’s 2007 film Talk to Me, and continued to work her way up the ladder as an assistant editor on television series such as The Biggest Loser, The Surreal Life and Beauty and the Geek. She eventually served as the first assistant editor on films such American Violet, Not Easily Broken, and worked on several Tyler Perry‘s films including For Colored Girls and Good Deeds.
Most recently, McMillon worked on Janicza Bravo’s feature debut Lemon, which made it’s premiere this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Congrats to Joi McMillon!