Sundance: <I>Miss Juneteenth</I> editor Courtney Ware
January 27, 2020

Sundance: Miss Juneteenth editor Courtney Ware

Miss Juneteenth, by Fort Worth, TX-based filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, on January 24th. The film looks at Turquoise, a former beauty queen turned hardworking single mother, who is preparing her rebellious teenage daughter for the “Miss Juneteenth” pageant. She hopes to keep her from repeating her own mistakes in life.

Miss Juneteenth stars Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Lori Hayes and Marcus Maudlin. The film represents Peoples’ feature debut and reunited her with editor Courtney Ware, who cut her short Doretha’s Blues.

Editor Courtney Ware

The project runs 103 minutes and was shot on Arri’s Alexa Mini  in the ArriRaw format. Ware edited the feature in Adobe Premiere Pro.

“I would get synced dailies from our post house — Lucky Post in Dallas — about a day or two behind shooting,” Ware explains. “This was the first film project where I had an AE — shout out of Lara Tillotson. She was able to organize the footage for me so I could jump right into editing. I edited at my own studio about half the time, and then would also edit at Lucky Post. Keeping things fairly in-house made delivery to sound and color really seamless.”

The Miss Juneteenth title commemorates the day slavery was abolished in Texas. And while life didn’t turn out as beautifully as the title promised for Turquoise, she is determined to right her wrongs. She is cultivating her daughter, Kai, to become Miss Juneteenth, even if Kai wants something else.

Ware's editing set-up

“One of my favorite sequences is at the climax of the film,” says Ware. “We got very specific in finding the right reactions as a character watched a performance. It was a sequence we were constantly massaging and tweaking until it finally clicked. It’s an emotional sequence that I think pulls the film together in a really great way at the end.”

Learn more about the film online at: