Lillian E. Benson, the first African-American female member of the American Cinema Editors, will be receiving honors from The Motion Picture Editors Guild (Local 700 IATSE) with its Fellowship and Service Award! The ceremony will take place during a dinner at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.

“Lillian E. Benson has a had a long career editing influential and socially conscious films, and has been long active in working to increase minority participation in the filmmaking process,” mused MPEG president and Academy Award-winner Alan Heim. “In addition, she has been an active member of the board of directors for the American Cinema Editors as secretary and co-chair of the diversity committee.”

Benson started her career in New York and was nominated for a 1991 Emmy for the Jacqueline Shearer’s Civil Rights series Eyes on the Prize II. In 2016, she worked on the Oprah Winfrey/Craig Wright drama Greenleaf on OWN and was part of the editorial team on the documentary feature Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. She is currently editing NBC’s Chicago Med. She is an adjunct professor at USC and has served as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Stanford. Benson made her directorial debut with All Our Sons: Fallen Heroes of 9/11 and followed up with her recently-completed film, Amen: the Life and Music of Jester Hairston.

Benson’s friend, colleague, film director/producer, and USC San Diego communications department professor, Zeinabu Irene Davis will present Benson with the MPEG Award. Benson has edited several of Davis’ films, including Passengers and Trumpetistcally, Clora Bryant.

Congrats to Lillian E. Benson! As she is an editor with quite the legacy, this honor is much deserved!



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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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