When there’s a lot of money at stake, you want to get the right person. Isabel’s natural empathy, sense of humor, calm professionalism and can-do attitude allowed her to quickly develop shared language and shared insight with the Director which made my life easier, streamlined processes and encouraged harmonious relations in all directions. Isabel is an expert with a big heart.
— Alexander Parker, CEO/Producer, Wordplay Shakespeare



Isabel Sadurni is a Film Editor with over 15 years experience in filmmaking. She collaborates on feature films, shorts and series with independent and commercial filmmakers who share the belief  that a story told well can change the world. Her work includes award winning feature-length documentaries and short narratives that have played in top-tier festivals and on national television. Her focus is in working on films that are vehicles for change for people, for communities and for the planet. She's especially supportive of films that promote strong female characters and crews. With every project, her goal is to recognize shared values and goals, build a strong emotional connection to a specific audience and lift the material to its highest potential through creative collaboration.
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The American Nurse: Healing America

Isabel Sadurni: Lead Editor

Documentary Feature Film, HD, U.SA., 81 mins,  2015, American Film Showcase selection, for the U.S. State Department

"This is one of the best films you'll see this year, documentary or otherwise. . . It's hard to walk away from The American Nurse unmoved." -- The Aisle Seat
" A compassionate and psychologically revealing doc. . . accessible not only to Americans of any philosophical stripe but . . . to viewers in other countries." -- The Hollywood Reporter

How to interweave five characters work and lives covering wildly diverse territories under an overarching theme of nursing in America? Take a peek.

The American Nurse explores some of the biggest issues facing America - aging, war, poverty, prisons - through the work and lives of five nurses. 

Director: Carolyn Jones
Producer: Lisa Frank
D.P.: Jaka Vinsek                            
Distributor: DigiNext



Building upon the success of The American Nurse book of portraits, this multi-platform release required the documentary feature to expand upon previously established themes of real-life heroism and extraordinary compassion. Working with Director Carolyn Jones’ initial ideas, I interwove back-story and home life for five separate characters, established their spiritual quest, distinguished a unique tone for each character using a palette of regional visuals and sound design. I then built a rake of escalating obstacles and resolution within an overarching 3-act structure.





Isabel Sadurni: Editor

Feature-length documentary about the art, life and writing of one of The New Yorker magazine's most brazen and popular film critics.

Director/Producer: Rob Garver

Robert Risko_Illustration_sml.jpg

"From the moment Kael began as a film critic at The New Yorker, at the start of 1968, she presided over the movies in the manner of Béla Károlyi watching a gymnast on the balance beam—shouting directives, excoriating every flub, and cheering uncontrollably when a filmmaker stuck his landing. She spent much of her career chastening Hollywood’s excesses while brushing off complaints about immoderation on her own part. She did not regard this as a hypocritical endeavor. Kael wrote quickly and at length, regularly pulling all-nighters into her Tuesday deadlines with the help of cigarettes and bourbon (till she gave up both). Her kinetic passion, her chatty-seatmate prose, and her detail-heckling made her a pop-culture oracle in an era that desperately needed one."

-Nathan Heller, The New Yorker


You have amazing material but haven't yet nailed story structure? We can build it. Maximize compelling storytelling, complex character arcs and emotional highs and lows to rivet your audience. Investors, sales agents, distributors -- We have a business plan for this little pony-- Ask us about participation. Below find an excerpt featuring Author Greil Marcus on Pauline Kael's pivotal review of BONNIE AND CLYDE (Dir: Arthur Penn, 1967)


Producer- Director Rob Garver had an incredible subject in telling the story of film critic Pauline Kael, 43 gorgeously lit interviews with contemporary film luminaries such as Quentin Tarantino, David O'Russell, Paul Schrader, James Toback, Greil Marcus, Philip Lopate and Molly Haskell all waxing poetic about the influence and impact of the work of Pauline Kael, He had a vision, but hadn't yet nailed the story structure. We talked in detail about what kind of story he wanted to tell, who he identified as his target audience, the emotional throughline and the impact he wanted to make with his film. We're working now to build a film that gives you an intimate view inside the contradictions, controversies and pathos of the woman and writing of Pauline Kael as well as tells a story that celebrates the indelible mark made by one of the world's most important and artful voices in film criticism.


Isabel Sadurni: Editor

Documentary, 10- 55 mins, Over 40 feature supplements edited

How to create momentum using sit-down interviews, stills and referential clips? It's a snap when the footage is sourced from cinematic masterworks.

Selection from Editing The THIN RED LINE, Shaping A Terence Malick Film


From Kurosawa to Vigo, Rossellini to Malick, I worked with Producers to create rich, in-depth contextual explorations of the personal, historical and cultural significance of classical and contemporary cinematic masterpieces. Edits involved interweaving interviews with historians, scholars, critics and artists.  I've been honored to create over 40 supplemental documentaries, ranging in length from 10 to 55 minutes.


Isabel Sadurni: Editor/Camera/Producer/Director

 Short Documentary, New York 2015

 A New York economist turned burlesque dancer shares what it's like to play a role by day and bare it all by night.


Pushing the boundaries of high and low culture in taking it on and taking it all off with a New York- based economist turned burlesque dancer created exciting opportunities as camera/director/producer/editor to showcase what re-defines a woman best.

Producer/Director: Isabel Sadurni   Distributor: TBD


Isabel Sadurni: Editor/Producer/Camera/Director

Documentary Series, HD, 3-4 mins vignettes

What happens when a filmmaker asks an elder for advice? This series of 2-mins vignettes encourages an exchange of wisdom across the generations and documents the heartfelt, candid, and surprising responses to the question about what’s essential to living a good life. Make them available to your classroom or wellness community: isabel@isabelsadurni.com

How to shape inspiring vignettes that tell a compelling emotional story featuring non-actors in 3 to 4 minutes? Watch this.


Working collaboratively with community members, I filmed interviews then created illustrative visuals and sound design directly inspired by true life events, dreams, and drawings. Each short film is nothing less than a summation of what gives meaning to life after overcoming life’s greatest challenge

Isabel’s generous spirit, keen cinematic insight and knack for storytelling really shines through. I also truly enjoyed her prepared notes and fantastic white-boarding session. She adds such immense value to the production and I look forward to working with her again.
— Ubah Bulale, Director, Producer, Executive Producer
Isabel’s natural ability to focus the story and drive the emotion of a piece with rhythm and flow brought out the heartbeat of our project. And she’s a great dialogue editor.
— Shari Johanson, Film and Television Music Editor
Isabel’s precision and an ability to problem solve creatively while maintaining a great repore with others was key. Isabel was able to assimilate notes and turn things around fast while continuing to add to the evolution of the story and the emotional impact of piece. . . and she made me laugh.”
— Tim Clancy, Co-Executive Producer, VICE on HBO
Isabel’s instincts and intuition are solid. Her ability to craft a narrative is there. When your under a time crunch, her ability to both recognize the trouble zone and come back with a creative solution is super-helpful.
— Jason Altman, Producer, The Criterion Collection
Communication is always clear. Things always get discussed. That wondering anxiety is never present because Isabel’s so willing and open to explore and execute an idea fully.
— Kate Elmore, Producer, The Criterion Collection
Building a deep emotional connection to the characters and ramping dramatic conflict over four acts was our priority. Isabel heard that and that remained strong for her throughout the editing process. She helped me think through the story in a much more emotional way, tying in the characters lives to the Big dramatic arc as well as the minor themes of our story.
— Ouida Washington, Producer, The Newark Project, In Development for PBS
Isabel has a gift for getting to the heart of the story, a great sense of story construction and care for the characters.
— Daniella Duarte, Independent film director
Isabel was committed not just the specifics of being The Editor, but was interested in the project in a holistic way. I hugely appreciated her understanding the bigger goals and of keeping her eye on the big picture.
— Jessica Bauman, Director, Wordplay Shakespeare






Isabel Sadurni's collaborations as editor and producer have screened internationally in top-tier festivals, on The Discovery Channel and on PBS. A recent feature documentary for which she served as Editor, THE AMERICAN NURSE, was selected for the 2015 American Film Showcase to represent the U.S. State Department, received several national awards and was described as “elegantly clear-eyed” by The New York Times, “one of the best films you’ll see this year” by The Aisle Seat and “one of the summer’s best documentaries” by WYNC.

As co-founder of The 100 People Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting global citizenry in K-12 classrooms, Isabel responsibilities filled the spectrum as co-producer, co-director, editor and camera on over 20 short films for which collaborated with crew in over 28 countries.

As Editorial Chair for Post New York Alliance, she regularly hosts and co-produces Frame By Frame, a podcast celebrating the films and individuals who continue to define New York as an essential capital of the global film industry. Listen to Frame By Frame, Episode 1 featuring editor, Craig McKay and re-recording mixer Tom Fleischman on Reds, Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia here.

A recent collaboration as editor with director- producer Rob Garver, WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL was recently profiled by The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Since 1997, Isabel has contributed to the independent film community as writer and has been published in Cinema EditorArtNews, Wired, Variety,  Filmmaker and ArtForum.online.

Isabel received her B.A. from the Department of Philosophy at U.C. Berkeley and her M.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film and Video.

She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and Great Pyrenees shepherd.


I spent the first year of my life in the jungles of Mexico with a doctor-father and nurse mother who rode horseback into the mountains of Orizaba above their medical clinic to administer westernized medicines to the 'indios". of Citlaltépetl Veracruz. After my parents divorce, my mother and I moved to her birth place, Cincinnati, OH where I spent a good portion of my childhood, raised by a nurse, grandmother and mother who encouraged mid-western work ethic and instilled a deep sense of compassion for others and a duty to participate as a guardian of my community. My mother had the foresight ( I still thank her)  to transplant the family to  the town of Mill Valley near San Francisco, which became my home from the age of 8. The progressive of the 1970's of the West Coast intelligentsia and social diverse citizens of Northern California shaped my worldview and led me to study philosophy as an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley and communications at Stanford University where I earned my secondary degree . My devotion to storytelling happened concurrently and led me to certain mentors such as playwright, Marie Irene Fornes and performance artist, writer and actor, Anna Deveare Smith.  Artists from my community such as filmmakers John Korty,  Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Cary Joji Fukunaga and Connie Field, producer Tom Luddy, actor Peter Coyote, writer and actor Sam Shepherd, and culinary pioneer, Alice Waters continue to inspire my work.


Films, art and more that inspire me



Post production sits at the intersection of storytelling and technology. Beyond constructing creative solutions in building your visual narrative, I also make it my job to streamline technical systems to make functionality a seamless part of our collaborative process. 


My on-call extended family of post-production professionals offer assistant editing, color-grading, sound design and sound mixing to make working here a world-class center for creative and technical excellence.  


Just 3 short blocks from the "L" train in the heart of the artistic warehouse/lofted artist district of Morgantown/Bushwick. My studio is a 15 minute ride from New York's Union Square and an easy connection to multiple Brooklyn nexus. 

The spacious 800 square-foot live/work studio includes: 

  • State-of-the-art Edit station with 2x2.25 GHz Quad Core Mac Pro, two broadcast-calibrated, 27” color monitors, performance audio speakers.
  • Avid Media Composer 8.4 Premiere Pro and FCP 7.0 Software
  • Courtesy guest Mac Book Pro laptop for in-house use
  • Free Wi-Fi


Up to your ears in brilliant footage with your narrative feature and your awards speech ret-to-go, just need a fearless editor with a keen sense of story and character development who can be ruthless with the shears? Planning your independent Sundance-bound doc feature and looking to get key personnel in place? I LOVE planning ahead! Can’t even get the paper edit down? Don’t panic. I’ll help you figure out a story structure and shape your footage to build a powerful story with compelling, relatable characters. Here are a couple of ways we can work together:

Editing,  starting from raw material or re-working.

  • We develop a dynamic structure for your film, factoring in all essential elements, map the narrative progression from start to finish together, then I work independently or with you in the studio to make your film a thing of beauty, even if it was already decent.
  • Need clarity in a story that feels overweighted with too many characters or whose narrative throughline feels messy or muddled? I’ll crank out some genius options and show you sample of what's possible, using your present footage.

Phone consulting. I offer:

  • Brainstorming to find the gold that’s already there. It’s hiding in your brilliant footage, you just need some help organizing it to offer clarity and a coherent story form.
  • Honest, insightful feedback on what you’ve got, and the guidance you need to lift away the inessential. It’s like conducting surgery by phone, but way less dangerous.
  • Talking through genre and tone. I've done a fair amount of reading and writing about cinema and often can offer specific scene references and anecdotes that can help illuminate an idea. Love getting my cinematic nerd on.



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