Gina Prince-Bythewood to Receive ACE Eddie Filmmaker of the Year, Career Achievement Honors Announced

Lynn Willingham
Lynn Willingham/image courtesy ACE (Photo by: William Stetz)
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Gina Prince-Bythewood/image courtesy ACE (Photo by NalaniHernandezMelo)

American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced today that the organization will honor acclaimed director Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King) with the esteemed ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, recognizing an artist who exemplifies distinguished achievement in the art and business of film. ACE will also bestow career achievement honors to film editors Don Zimmerman, ACE and Lynne Willingham, ACE for their outstanding career contributions to film editing.

The honors will be presented at the 73rd annual ACE Eddie Awards on March 5, 2023 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

“A supremely versatile trailblazer from day one of her career, Gina Prince-Bythewood has consistently entertained us with intimate films and global blockbusters that explore the human experience through formidable female characters,” said ACE President Kevin Tent, ACE. “A champion of diverse, character-driven narratives, her latest film — The Woman King — is the crown jewel of a career spent pushing boundaries and telling stories that touch our hearts and minds. She is a proud supporter of the editing community and we’re so thrilled to honor her with the Golden Eddie.”

“We are so excited and thrilled to honor Don and Lynne, two outstanding editors, for their incredible contributions to film editing history,” stated Tent. “These two extraordinary editors are responsible for editing some of the most entertaining, moving and thrilling movies and television shows of our time. They are so deserving of their career achievement honors and we look forward to celebrating them at this year’s ACE Eddie Awards.”

Past recipients of the Golden Eddie include Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Kathleen Kennedy, Christopher Nolan, Lauren Shuler Donner, Guillermo del Toro, Vince Gilligan, J.J. Abrams, Nancy Meyers, Martin Scorsese, Norman Jewison, Robert Zemeckis, George Lucas, and the Sundance Institute, among others.

Past recipients of the ACE Career Achievement Award include Lillian Benson, ACE, Richard Chew, ACE, Alan Heim, ACE, Tina Hirsch, ACE, Thelma Schoonmaker, ACE, Janet Ashikaga, ACE, Craig McKay, ACE, Jerrold L. Ludwig, ACE, Mark Goldblatt, ACE, Leon Ortiz-Gil, ACE, among many others.

The previously-announced key dates for the 73rd Annual ACE Eddie Awards are:
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 Submission for Nominations Begin
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 (5pm PT) Submission for Nominations End
Monday, January 9, 2023 Nomination Ballots Sent
Monday, January 30, 2023 (5pm PT) Nomination Ballots Due (5pm)
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 Nominations Announced
Monday, February 6, 2023 Final Ballots Sent
Friday, February 10, 2023 Deadline for Advertising
February 6-23, 2023 Blue Ribbon Screenings
Friday, February 24, 2023 (5pm PT) Final Ballots Due
TBD ACE Nominee Cocktail Party
Sunday, March 5, 2023 ACE Eddie Awards

About Gina Prince-Bythewood (Director, Writer and Producer)

Award-winning director/writer/producer Gina Prince-Bythewood is one of the most versatile storytellers working in film and television. Known for her authentic character-driven work, Prince-Bythewood has written and directed such influential feature films as Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond the Lights.

Prince-Bythewood’s most recent film is the critically-acclaimed epic, The Woman King, for Sony’s TriStar Pictures which opened September 16 and received a rare A+ CinemaScore from movie audiences. The film is the remarkable story of the Agogie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, “The Woman King” follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and prepares them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Story by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens. Screenplay by Dana Stevens. In addition to Davis, the film’s ensemble cast includes Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin and John Boyega. Produced by Cathy Schulman, p.g.a., Viola Davis, p.g.a., Julius Tennon, and Maria Bello. The executive producer is Peter McAleese. The film was edited by longtime Prince-Bythewood collaborator Terilyn Shropshire, ACE.

Prince-Bythewood’s filmography includes the critically-acclaimed action drama blockbuster, The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne. A Netflix and Skydance original feature, it is based on the popular comic book series created by author Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernández. Among the accolades Prince-Bythewood received for her work on the film includes the Nancy Malone Directing Award from New York Women in Film and Television. The blockbuster is among the Top 10 most popular Netflix films of all time with Prince-Bythewood becoming the first Black female director on that list. Prince-Bythewood, who decided not to direct the sequel, is a producer on The Old Guard 2.

For television, Prince-Bythewood most recently directed the pilot and served as an Executive Producer of ABC’s limited series Women of the Movement. The six-episode series aired in three parts debuting in January, 2022, and based on the true story of Mamie Till- Mobley, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till following his brutal murder in the Jim Crow South in 1955. Women of the Movement is created and Executive Produced by Marissa Jo Cerar, who worked with Prince-Bythewood on Shots Fired.

Her next television project will be Genius: MLK/X, on which she and her husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, will serve as Executive Producers under their production company Undisputed Cinema. The Disney+ Original limited series is produced by 20th Television, Imagine Television, and Undisputed Cinema. Genius: MLK/X will explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, dueling philosophies and key personal relationships of Martin Luther King Jr. (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) and Malcolm X (Aaron Pierre). Malcolm X argued forcefully for Black empowerment, identity and self-determination. With their formidable wives, Coretta Scott King (Weruche Opia) and Betty Shabazz (Jayme Lawson), by their sides, King and Malcolm X became synonymous with the civil rights era and the fight for racial and economic justice. While they met only once and often challenged each other’s views, neither would have been as successful without the other. The series reunites Prince-Bythewood and Rock Bythewood with 20th Television and Imagine Entertainment, who previously worked together on Shots Fired.

Other recent credits for Prince-Bythewood include the special event series, Shots Fired, on which she and Rock Bythewood served as Series Co-Creators and Executive Producers. The ten-hour series for Fox examined the dangerous aftermath of two racially charged shootings in a small Southern town. In addition, Prince-Bythewood directed the pilot for Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, which launched to strong reviews and viewers, starring breakout actors Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph as two teenagers with newly acquired superpowers who are mysteriously linked to one another.

As a longtime advocate for equal representation in film and television on-screen and behind-the-scenes, Prince-Bythewood has championed many emerging writers and directors as well as funding a scholarship for African American students in the film program at UCLA, her alma mater.

About Lynne Willingham, ACE

Lynn Willingham
Lynn Willingham/image courtesy ACE (Photo by: William Stetz)

Lynne Willingham, ACE, started her film career as an apprentice editor at Paramount Studios almost 44 years ago. Over her career, she has cut numerous television series, movies-of-the-week, mini-series and pilots. Some of her work includes the mini-series, Revelations and Empire, as well as the series The X-Files, True Blood, The Son, Bloodline, See, Your Honor, Ray Donovan, Breaking Bad, and the pilots for Breaking Bad and the TNT series, Claws.

In the first year of her five-year stint on The X-Files, she was nominated for an Emmy and an ACE Eddie for the legendary, black and white episode “Post Modern Prometheus”.

In 2007/2008 and 2008/2009, she won back to back Emmy and ACE Eddie awards for AMC’s critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad” Pilot episode and the Breaking Bad Season 2 finale, “ABQ”.

She recently cut Ray Donovan: The Movie for Showtime and the Paramount TV/Showtime series, American Gigolo.

About Don Zimmerman, ACE

Don Zimmerman
Don Zimmerman/image via ACE (Photo by Peter Zakhary/Tilt Photo)

Don Zimmerman, ACE, began his film career as an apprentice editor in music and sound effects. His first job as lead editor was on “Coming Home”, for which he was nominated for an Oscar®. Throughout his storied career of over 50 years in the film industry, he has edited some of the most cherished comedies in Hollywood history. Zimmerman’s work includes, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Patch Adams, Night at the Museum, Men in Black 3, and many others. He has also cut heartfelt dramas including, Heaven Can Wait, Rocky III, Rocky IV, A Walk in the Clouds, Dragonfly, among many others. He recently cut Bill & Ted Face the Music.