Julie Zografos, a 2013 graduate of the top-ranked School of Filmmaking, is participating in The Writers Lab, a prestigious mentoring program for women screenwriters over the age of 40. Supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey, the lab begins Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 4, completely online for the first time in its six-year history.
Co-founded by New York Women in Film & Television, Elizabeth Kaiden and Nitza Wilon, the lab is a four-day workshop that gives writers the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established film professionals. This year’s mentors include Susan Cartsonis, producer of “What Women Want” and the recent television movie “Freaky Friday”; Shruti Ganguly, producer of “Color of Time” and “Yosemite”; and Mary Jane Skalski, producer of “The Station Agent” and “American Animals.”
The film and television industry is looking at projects through a different lens today. In the School of Filmmaking, we foster filmmakers who accurately reflect the diversity of our world and who will tell stories that resonate with all of us.Interim Dean of Filmmaking Henry Grillo
“We are delighted that Julie is participating in The Writer’s Lab, which nurtures work by artists whose voices need to be heard,” said Interim Dean of Filmmaking Henry Grillo. “The film and television industry is looking at projects through a different lens today. In the School of Filmmaking, we foster filmmakers who accurately reflect the diversity of our world and who will tell stories that resonate with all of us.
“Alumni like Julie Zografos are helping to cement our place among top tier programs in the nation,” Grillo added. “Mentored by world-class faculty, our students develop unique voices in storytelling. We look forward to seeing Julie’s creative work for many years to come.”
Assistant Dean of Film Lauren Vilchik said, “Julie ‘Zo’ Zografos has a keen sense of character and a poetic visionary style. It is about time that women’s voices are being amplified across the industry. It’s not just the writers, producers and directors, but also the cinematographers, designers, editors and composers whose work is reflected in the final product,” she said.
Our students graduate ready to make an impact, and their contributions are being felt and noticed.Assistant Dean of Filmmaking Lauren Vilchik
“Our students graduate ready to make an impact, and their contributions are being felt and noticed,” added Vilchik, a film producer and production attorney specializing in independent film finance and production. In 1998 she started her own company, Tonic Films, LLC, which is based out of Los Angeles. At the helm of Tonic Films, she has produced 10 feature films, including the 2003 venerated horror hit “Cabin Fever,” purchased by Lionsgate in one of the largest bidding wars in the history of the Toronto Film Festival.
Among UNCSA’s notable alumnae are Rebecca Green (’01), producer of feature films “I’ll See You in My Dreams” and “Saints Rest”; Vera Herbert (’11), Emmy- nominated writer and executive producer for “This Is Us” on NBC; Spirit award-winning director Martha Stephens (’06), whose films include “Land Ho!” and “To the Stars”; and Emmy nominee Zoë White (’04), cinematographer for “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu.
The School of Filmmaking enrolled a predominantly female incoming class for the first time in 2019-20, and again this year.
The Writers Lab chose Zografos for her feature film script “Dark Quarry,” a coming-of-age drama set in 1963 North Carolina, when a defiant mute girl and the town pariah dig a strange bullet from a wolf pup and unravel a mystery that could save them both.
The screenplay also earned Zografos a spot in the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive.
While at UNCSA, she wrote and directed “What Remains,” which received a Directors Guild of America Jury Award, and went on to be a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. She is a recipient of the North Carolina Artist Grant for screenwriting.
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October 01, 2020