Sept. 12, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



Students and alumni worked on and star in seven selected films

(Winston-Salem) The Toronto International Film Festival is under way, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is well represented, with connections to at least seven of the films being screened, including one that was shot on campus.


YOU ARE HERE, directed by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, was filmed in the summer of 2012 using two of the three sound stages at UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking, and several students and alumni worked on the film*. It stars Wilkesboro native Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Jenna Fischer in the story of two childhood best friends who embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father. The film also features UNCSA Film faculty member Peter Bogdonovich.


Also screening at Toronto is JOE, directed and produced by David Gordon Green (Film 1998). It premiered at the Venice Film Festival, was screened at Deauville American Film Festival in France, and will screen at the Zurich Film Festival in late September. Former Film faculty member Gary Hawkins of Thomasville wrote the screenplay about an ex-con and unlikely role model who meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. It stars Nicholas Cage and Tye Sheridan.


Former faculty member Lisa Muskat co-produced JOE, with Film alumni Danny McBride (1998) and Jody Hill (1999) as executive producers. Other film alumni who worked on JOE include Tim Orr (1998), cinematographer; Christof Gebert (2000), production sound mixer; Darius Shahmir (2001) camera operator, electronic press kit and behind the scenes; and Alex Bickel (2004) digital immediate colorist.


School of Drama graduate Dane DeHaan (2004 high school and 2008 BFA) co-stars in three films screening at the Toronto festival --  KILL YOUR DARLINGS, DEVIL’s KNOT and METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize. School of Filmmaking alumni Gilana Lobel (2005) and Shakim Coleman (2011) worked on the film as assistant production coordinator and accounting clerk, respectively. The film is about a 1944 murder that draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. DeHaan plays Lucien Carr, who was convicted of manslaughter in the killing. The film also stars Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olson, and Raleigh native Michael C. Hall.

In DEVIL’S KNOT, which also stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, DeHaan plays a suspect in the savage killing of three young children.  In METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER, he stars opposite members of the popular heavy metal band as a roadie who is sent on an urgent mission that turns into a surreal adventure.

Film alumna Jennifer Haire (2002) was production coordinator, additional photography for Toronto selection DON JON (formerly titled DON JON’S ADDICTION). It premiered at Sundance and also screened at South by Southwest Film Festival. DON JON stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johannson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza in a story about a New Jersey guy who is dedicated to his family, friends, and church, but develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

The Toronto Festival began in 1976 as the "Festival of Festivals," collecting the best films from other film festivals around the world and showing them to eager audiences in Toronto. That first year, 35,000 enthusiasts watched 127 films from 30 countries. Renamed the Toronto International Film Festival in 1995, it has grown to feature more than 350 films from more than 70 countries, enjoyed by some 400,000 people. Filmmakers including Paul Haggis, Jason Reitman, Michael Moore, David Cronenberg and John Woo have credited the festival as a foundation of their careers.

*Current students who worked on YOU ARE HERE include:

·         Josh Barker, Film senior from Winston-Salem;

·         Jeremiah Cullen, Film senior from West Jefferson;

·         Nathan Korchmal, Film senior from Greensboro;  

·         Joe Rawda, Design and Production senior from Winston-Salem;

·         Mitch Rumfelt, Film senior from Winston-Salem;

·         Bernice Miller, Film senior from Winston-Salem.


Alumni who worked on YOU ARE HERE include Julia Festa, Ben Hall, Jake LaGuardia, Konstantin Sumtsev and Brandon White, all Film graduates in 2013;  Raven Bradley, Hailey Chitamber, Matt Gorbachov, Nick Hoisington, Adam Meadows and Taylor Sommers, all Film 2012; Maria Juri, D&P 2012; Cara Rhodes, Film 2011; Glenn Peison, Film 2008; Alex Dimopoulos, Dance 1996; and David Blankenship, D&P 1985.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.