Obituary of deceased ‘Avatar’ film editor John Refoua

Oscar-nominated editor John Refoua, who worked on Avatar and Avatar: The Waterway, has died. He is 58 years old.

According to his wife, Serena Bell, who shared the news of his death in a Facebook post, Refoua died of complications from a rare form of bile duct cancer known as cholangiocarcinoma. He was diagnosed with cancer in early 2022. “Despite the pain and complexity of this aggressive disease, he faced it with courage and determination,” writes Bell Refoua. “He continued to cut and edit James Cameron’s Avatar 3 until the last weeks of his life. His life journey is very unique and everything he touches is better.

Refoua, a seasoned and well-respected editor, is a longtime Cameron collaborator who worked with the legendary filmmaker on the Avatar series, the Fox sci-fi series Dark Angels, and the Titanic #1 documentary “Ghost of the Abyss. “. Refoua, along with Cameron and Stephen E. Rivkin, was nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Film Editing for his work on Avatar.

In a 2010 interview with Cine Montage, Refoua said Cameron called him in early 2007 to help him work on Avatar for a few weeks. The publisher ended up working on this groundbreaking project for more than two years. This was a major technical challenge, as the Avatar editorial team had to navigate the process and find new ways of working. “The goal for all of us was: how do we make this film in a meaningful way? What’s the best way to do it? There’s no set process, so we figure things out over time,” Refoua told Ciné Montage.

Cameron, Refoua, and Rivkin will reunite for Avatar: Way of Water in 2022, with the late David Brenner joining as the fourth editor for another large, technically demanding project. Refoua’s work will also appear in the upcoming Avatar 3.

A favorite of Antoine Fuqua, Refoua worked with the director on four consecutive films, including the action-adventure Olympus Has Fallen (2013), the Denzel Washington thriller The Equalizer (2014) and the brutal boxing drama Southpaw (2015). ). ) and Sony’s budget remake of The Magnificent Seven (2016).

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