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Nathaniel "Nat" Sanders is an American film editor. He is best known for his work on Short Term 12 (2013) and Moonlight (2016). He won Independent Spirit Awards for both, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award for the latter.

Nat Sanders
Nathaniel Sanders

(1980-08-08) August 8, 1980 (age 39)
Alma materFlorida State University
OccupationFilm editor

Life and careerEdit

Sanders was born in New London, Connecticut. He studied film at the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts, graduating in 2002. After moving to Hollywood, his first job as an editor was on the reality television show The Biggest Loser—a job that he quit when another FSU alumnus, writer-director Barry Jenkins, made his 2008 film Medicine for Melancholy, which Sanders moved to San Francisco to edit.[1] (In 2014, Sanders thanked Jenkins for "saving me from a career in reality television".)[2] When Medicine for Melancholy premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest film festival, Sanders met director Lynn Shelton and soon after headed to Seattle to edit her film Humpday, which was released in 2009.[1]

Following the release of Medicine for Melancholy and Humpday, Sanders was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces in Independent Film" in 2009. He worked at the Sundance Institute's Directors' Lab while editing his next project, the 2010 film The Freebie.[3] In 2010, he had a minor acting role in Tiny Furniture; he was friends with Lena Dunham, the film's writer, director and lead actress. Sanders also edited Mark and Jay Duplass's film The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, which was released in 2012, four years after it had originally been filmed.[4]

Sanders met Destin Daniel Cretton at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and in 2012 Cretton hired Sanders to edit Short Term 12, a feature-length adaption of Cretton's 2009 short film of the same name.[4] In March 2014, Sanders won the Independent Spirit Awards' inaugural Best Editing award for his work on Short Term 12.[2] After Short Term 12, he edited Laggies, his fourth collaboration with Lynn Shelton, and the first season of Togetherness, an HBO series created by Mark and Jay Duplass.[4]

In 2016, Sanders, alongside Joi McMillon, edited the Barry Jenkins drama Moonlight. Sanders was responsible for editing the first and second chapters, while McMillon was responsible for the third.[5] The pair received much acclaim for their work, and were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing at the 89th Academy Awards.[6]

He lives in Los Angeles.



  1. ^ a b Mills, Brenda (April 26, 2013). ""Filmmaker Magazine" Names FSU Grad New Face of Independent Film". Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. Archived from the original on April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kohn, Eric (March 2, 2014). "Can Little Indies Hope to Win Big Awards? The Independent Spirit Awards Beg the Question". Indiewire. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  3. ^ Longworth, Karina (Summer 2009). "25 New Faces of Independent Film". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Davidson, Jaye Sarah (February 28, 2014). "FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT: Behind the Screen with Short Term 12 Editor Nat Sanders". Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Galas, Marj (January 26, 2017). "Florida State Classmates Helped Make Barry Jenkins' 'Moonlight' Shine". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "2017 Oscar Ballot". The New York Times. January 24, 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 16, 2017.

External linksEdit