Joi McMillon, ACE

No birth date available.

After assistant editing on reality TV shows, Joi McMillon, ACE got her break into editing features in 2007 as an apprentice to Terilyn A. Shropshire on Kasi Lemmons’s Talk to Me. As the co-editor of Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, she and Nat Sanders received an Oscar nomination, making her the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar for film editing. McMillon and Sanders won Best Film Editing at the 2017 Spirit Awards. They have since co-edited Jenkins’s next film, If Beale Street Could Talk.

“I think one of the lessons I learned was allowing the footage to speak to you. Sometimes as an editor you’re trying to pace things up to keep the audience engaged, but I think we learned to just allow moments to breathe and allow the audience to become acquainted with the surroundings. When we were cutting the diner scene, I was slightly nervous that we were lingering too long, but a lot of people tell me that they love being in that diner. You have to trust your instinct and your gut. Barry [Jenkins] would always say, ‘Don’t break it. It feels good.’ You’ve got to listen to that feeling.”
—“Meet ‘Moonlight’s’ Joi McMillon, the first black woman editor to receive an Oscar nomination” by Tre’vell Anderson. The full interview can be found in the Appendix.