Clint Eastwood was the top honoree at the 43rd annual American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Awards on Saturday.

Morgan Freeman, Gregory Peck, Forest Whitaker, Sela Ward and other celebrity presenters joined some 750 attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to celebrate editorial achievement in film, television, documentaries and student films.

Matt Frewer hosted the event.

Eastwood, a veteran of 49 films including Warner Bros.’ “Unforgiven,” which is up for nine Academy Awards tonight, garnered the ACE Golden Eddie Award for contribution to the art of editing. In winning, Eastwood, who earned a standing ovation, joined a daunting company of prior recipients: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Wise, who presented the award to Eastwood.

“I’ve learned the most about directing from editors,” said Eastwood in accepting his award. “Unforgiven’s” editor, Joel Cox, picked up the feature film Eddie.

Career achievement awards went to Rudi A. Fehr and Robert W. Swink, whose collective works span 99 years, 87 films and four Oscar nominations for films “Roman Holiday,””Funny Girl,””The Boys From Brazil” and “Prizzi’s Honor.”

In TV, prizes went to Benjamin A. Weissman, television miniseries episode, ABC’s “The Burden of Proof, Part II”; Peter Zinner, best edited television movie , HBO’s “Citizen Cohn”; Jon Koslowsky, hour television series, “A Song for the Soul” episode of NBC’s “Quantum Leap”; and Roger Bondelli, half-hour television series, the “Brave New Worlds” episode of CBS’ “Brooklyn Bridge.”

Best edited documentary went to Robert Sinise for TNT’s “MGM: When the Lion Roars, Part II.”

For the first time since the Eddies’ inception, all the student editing nominees came from the same institution, Boston University. The prize went to Edward Graff.

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