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JESUS SILVA, Emmy Winning Documentary Series and Film Editor

Location: Los Angeles

Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Maracaibo, Venezuela, but moved to the United States when I was 18 to pursue a career in film. My family is also from Venezuela. 

What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? 

As a documentary/unscripted editor, my responsibilities include crafting engaging and impactful narratives that go beyond traditional storytelling. I work collaboratively with teams, contributing creatively to overcome story barriers and shape the vision of producers and directors. 

Are there any films that inspired you to start working in television and film?

Absolutely, these are some of the documentary films that have inspired my journey. 

"Nanook of the North" (1922): Directed by Robert J. Flaherty,

“Araya” (1959) - Directed by Margot Benacerraf

"Salesman" (1969): Directed by Albert and David Maysles

"Hoop Dreams" (1994) - Directed by Steve James

What has been your favorite project to work on?

One project that holds a special place for me is "Broken Bread with Roy Choi," for PBS which earned three Emmys. I had the honor of editing an episode that contributed to this remarkable achievement. Being part of a series that garnered such recognition was a testament to the collaborative effort and the power of storytelling.

How did you begin working in the industry?

I began my journey in the entertainment industry through a combination of education and passion. I studied film and post-production at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, where I discovered the art of editing and its limitless creative possibilities. This educational background fueled my interest in filmmaking.
I started my career in the industry in reality TV, which provided valuable experience and the opportunity to hone my storytelling skills. As I transitioned into documentary editing, I was drawn to the genre's potential for creative expression and its ability to educate and inspire audiences. This shift marked the beginning of my dedicated path in the industry, where I have been committed to documentary/unscripted storytelling ever since.

Are there any peers or mentors that have inspired you? 

One of the peers and mentors who have greatly inspired me is Pedro Kos. We collaborated as a team on the award-winning feature documentary 'The Crash Reel,' and his expertise and dedication to the craft of editing left a lasting impression. Working with Pedro taught me the value of storytelling, attention to detail, and the importance of pushing creative boundaries in documentary filmmaking. His mentorship has had a significant impact on my journey in the industry, and I'm grateful for the experience and knowledge he shared.

What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry?

For someone starting in the industry, my advice would be to combine passion with perseverance. Learn as much as you can, not just about editing techniques but about the entire filmmaking process. Networking is crucial, so connect with peers, mentors, and industry professionals. And finally, trust in your unique voice and perspective—these qualities will set you apart in the competitive landscape of the entertainment industry.


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