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March 6, 2014/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu

 

UNCSA FILM SCHOOL HAS BIG WEEKEND ON CAMPUS AND AT AWARDS PRESENTATIONS

 Campus welcomes ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner and

celebrates alumni success at Independent Spirit and Academy Awards

 


WINSTON-SALEM – It was a big weekend for the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).

Last Friday, March 7, “Mad Men” creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner was on campus to screen YOU ARE HERE and participate in a Q&A session for film students.

UNCSA also hosted a cast and crew screening of the film, with Piedmont Triad Film Commission head Rebecca Clark in attendance.

 

Weiner wrote and directed YOU ARE HERE, which stars Owen Wilson, Zack Galifianakis and Amy Poehler. An exploration of the complexities of male friendship, YOU ARE HERE premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September.  Weiner shot the film during the summer of 2012 in and around Winston-Salem, including several scenes on the film school’s sound stages, using numerous students in the crew.

Weiner said it was a feature film 14 years in the making, as he was writing the script while he was writing “The Sopranos.”

“We appreciated being part of the school here,” Weiner told the students.

Weiner said it was a feature film 14 years in the making, as he was writing the script while he was writing “The Sopranos.”

AMC will air the seventh and final season of “Mad Men” starting on April 13.




(Photo by Drew Davis)

From left to right, YOU ARE HERE cinematographer Chris Manley, writer/director Matthew Weiner, and UNCSA Film Dean Susan Ruskin

 

On Saturday, March 8, at the 29th edition of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, two films with UNCSA connections won big.

THIS IS MARTIN BONNER, written and directed by 2004 School of Filmmaking alumnus Chad Hartigan, won the John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature under $500,000.  

MUD, written and directed by 2001 School of Filmmaking alumnus Jeff Nichols, took the Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble Cast.  Among the ensemble cast in MUD are Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard.

Numerous UNCSA film alumni worked on both films.

The Spirit Awards celebrates artist-driven filmmaking and recognizes the finest achievements of today's independent filmmakers.

On Sunday, March 9, two UNCSA film alumni celebrated their connections to Oscar-nominated films.

Michael Sledd (Class of 2001) was co-producer and unit production manager on DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, which was nominated for Best Picture and for which Matthew McConaughey won an Academy Award.

Kevin Hickman (Class of 1999) was first assistant editor on CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, which also was nominated for Best Picture.

 

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.

 

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