Three Time Oscar Winning Editor Thelma Schoonmaker to Be Honored at Maine International Film Festival

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Thelma Schoonmaker, Academy Award winning film editor, will be the recipient of the Mid-Life Achievement Award at the Maine International Film Festival. MIFF will present Schoonmaker with her award on Tuesday, July 17.

The 2012 Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) Mid-Life Achievement Award honoree is American film editor and Oscar winner, Thelma Schoonmaker. Schoonmaker is best known for editing the films of director Martin Scorsese, with whom she has been working for over 40 years. Schoonmaker has received seven Academy Award nominations for best editing, and has won three times (for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed). Schoonmaker was married to legendary British film director Michael Powell from 1984 until his death in 1990. Since his death, Schoonmaker has been dedicated to preserving the films and honoring the legacy of her husband, who directed many classic films, including The Red Shoes (MIFF 2010) and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, which Schoonmaker will present at this year’s festival.

After meeting at NYU, Schoonmaker and Scorsese embarked on one of the longest lasting collaborations in film history. She has edited almost all of his films starting with Who’s That Knocking At My Door. She received her seventh Academy Award nomination in 2012 for Hugo. Her other credits include: Woodstock, The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino, Grace of My Heart, Kundun, Bringing Out the Dead, Gangs of New York, and Shutter Island.

MIFF will present Schoonmaker with her award on Tuesday, July 17 at the 6:30pm screening of Goodfellas, to be held at the historic Waterville Opera House. Goodfellas was the winner of Best Film of the Year from the National Society of Film Critics, and according to Festival Programmer Ken Eisen is “arguably Martin Scorsese’s most amazing film—and even more arguably his most amazingly edited one, thanks to Thelma.” Schoonmaker will also present Scorsese’s Kundun, a visually detailed biographical story of the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual and political leader of Tibet, from his childhood to his forced exile in 1959 at age 24 and Powell’s The Edge of the World.

Each year MIFF chooses an honoree for contributions to the art of cinema. Past winners include: Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza), Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde), Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line), Malcom McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), John Turturro (The Big Lebowski) , Ed Harris (Pollack), Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Jos Stelling (Duska), Walter Hill (The Warriors), and Bud Cort (Harold and Maude).

About the Maine International Film Festival: The 15th annual Maine International Film Festival will take place in Waterville, Maine from July 13-22, at Railroad Square Cinema and the newly renovated Waterville Opera House. During the 10 days of the festival, MIFF will feature nearly 100 films, representing the best of American and International independent cinema and spotlighting some of Maine and New England’s most innovative filmmakers.

More than just watching movies, audiences also have opportunities to meet and talk with some of the people behind the movies including directors, producers, writers and actors. Every year MIFF honors members of the independent film industry whose contributions deserve recognition. Honored guests and visiting filmmakers host panel discussions and Q&A sessions, giving festival audiences an incredible chance to hear about the art of film from those on the front-lines.

The full MIFF schedule is now available on the festival’s website,, and tickets for each individual show are on sale now through noon on the day of the screening. Passes start at $85 and are now available for purchase through the website. in 1998, The Maine International Film Festival is a project of the Maine Film Center.

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Shannon Haines, Festival Director
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