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University of York alumnus wins Best Editing at the Oscars

Joe Walker, who graduated from the University of York, won Best Editing for his work on the film Dune.

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Image Credit: Martin Vorel

University of York alumnus, Joe Walker, won the Best Editing Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. The award was given for his work on the science fiction film Dune which was released on 3 September 2021.

Upon receiving the award, Walker thanked the director, Denis Villeneuve, with the French expression “Merci du fond du coeur” which translates to “thanks from the bottom of my heart”. Dune is the third film that the two of them have worked on together which allowed for a very collaborative approach when producing the film.

For his work on Dune, Walker was also nominated for a BAFTA and a Critics’ Choice Award amongst other accolades.

Based upon Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name, Dune has grossed over $400 million worldwide and won five accolades on the night including Best Sound, Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects. Most notably, Hans Zimmer, the composer for Dune’s soundtrack, won Best Original Score, his second from the Academy Awards.

Walker has previously been nominated twice before for 12 Years a Slave (2014) and Arrival (2017) but this is his first win at the Oscars. Within his acceptance speech, he jokingly referenced the fact that his daughter has teased him for only previously being an Oscar-nominated individual.

Graduating in 1984, Joe Walker received a BA in Music from the University of York with the initial aim of training to be a classical composer. Along with a distinguished career within film editing, Walker has also previously composed music for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. As recognition for his work in numerous Hollywood films, the University of York awarded Walker with an honorary doctorate in 2019.

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