Alexander Payne, director of "The Descendants," has been named Filmmaker of the Year by the American Cinema Editors, the ACE Board of directors announced on Monday.
The ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award will be presented to Payne at the 62nd annual ACE Eddie Awards ceremony on February 18, where "The Descendants" was also nominated in the Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic) category along with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "Hugo," "Moneyball" and "War Horse."
All of those films except "War Horse" are nominated in the Oscars' film editing category; the fifth Oscar nominee, "The Artist," is included in the Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical) category at the ACE Eddies.
"Alexander Payne is a consistently fresh, exciting voice in film,” said a statement from the ACE Board of Directors. “From the socially conscious and satirical 'Citizen Ruth' to the rich and poignant comedies of 'Sideways,' 'About Schmidt' and most recently 'The Descendants,' he is a filmmaker with unique vision and the ability to illuminate the humanity in every story he tells. We are delighted to recognize him with our most distinguished honor.”
Two weeks before the Oscar nominations were announced, Fox Searchlight began highlighting the editing and cinematography of "The Descendants" in an online featurette. Support in those categories has long been considered essential to a Best Picture win – and while Payne's film was not nominated in the cinematography category, his support from the film editors certainly can't hurt.
The ACE Eddie Awards will take place on February 18 in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.