McMillon said that editing "Moonlight" has been the highlight of her career thus far.
She has known director Barry Jenkins, co-editor Nat Sanders, and producer Adele Romanski, since they were all in film school together at Florida State University. The close friends vowed to create a feature film together — and "Moonlight" provided them the opportunity to do just that.
"I remember when Barry [Jenkins] and Nat [Sanders] told me they wanted me to come on as an editor, I was so, so excited because I knew Barry was going to tell a story that was going to shake up the world," she said. "So, the collaboration process was very open and honest and we just respected each other so much, we just wanted to hear each other's opinions."
That collaborative effort now has eight Academy Award nominations, including the aforementioned nod for best editing.
Next up for McMillon is "Lemon," a film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22.
"Lemon" is Janicza Bravo's directorial debut, but it's already generating buzz at Sundance and the Rotterdam Film Festival.
"I'm excited for people to experience [Janicza Bravo's] work," McMillon said. "She's also another talented female director who, one day, the world will definitely be talking about. They've already started talking about her, so it's just a matter of time before the spotlight's on her."
She's also working with Sanders on "The Glass Castle," a forthcoming Lionsgate film directed by Destin Cretton.
It's only up from here for Joi McMillon — and the Black women film editors she's holding the door open for.