The School of Filmmaking has been recognized by two leading publications of the film and television industry this month. The Hollywood Reporter (THR) ranked the school at No. 11 on its list of 25 top film schools in America, and MovieMaker magazine included UNCSA in its list of the best film schools in the U.S. and Canada, citing the school for its “Outstanding Screenwriting Training.”
THR noted the UNCSA School of Filmmaking named independent filmmaker Deborah LaVine its new dean, as well as the fact that the school boasts an incoming class of 50 percent women for the second straight year, and that it covers the costs of student films. Emmy-nominated “Mare of Easttown” director and alumnus Craig Zobel (B.F.A. '99) is quoted as saying that UNCSA is “smaller and scrappier” and truly “aligned with an indie film spirit.”
MovieMaker spotlighted UNCSA’s screenwriting program, for which UNCSA offers both a B.F.A. and M.F.A. Graduates of the program hold titles such as screenwriter, producer and writer's assistant on major motion pictures, television series and animated films at companies like Pixar Animation, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation, while others are writing and producing their own independent features. Some of their more well-known credits include “This is Us,” “Your Highness,” “Pacific Rim,” “Land Ho,” “I’ll See you In My Dreams,” “Mud,” “Loving,” “Clash of the Titans” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
“We are honored to be included on lists like these by The Hollywood Reporter and MovieMaker, which are read by industry insiders,” said Deborah LaVine, dean of the School of Filmmaking. “I am particularly pleased to see the recognition for our ever-diversifying student body, our excellent value, and our independent spirit. It is due to our world-class faculty that students in our program thrive in the business, and we continue to achieve accolades such as this.”
I am particularly pleased to see the recognition for our ever-diversifying student body, our excellent value, and our independent spirit. It is due to our world-class faculty that students in our program thrive in the business, and we continue to achieve accolades such as this.Deborah LaVine
In making its annual list, THR consulted with “knowledgeable industry players to determine what each school’s reputation is within greater Hollywood” as well as changes year-over-year and the alma maters of the past year’s top awards-season winners, film festival breakouts and box office stars.
MovieMaker editors considered the “particular programs with curriculums we find compelling and useful, based on specific paths students can pursue,” to develop its list.
About UNCSA School of Filmmaking
Consistently recognized as among the nation’s best training programs for filmmakers, the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts has produced some of today’s most creative storytellers, including Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Zach Seivers, Brett Haley, Rebecca Green, Jody Hill, Jeff Nichols, Vera Herbert, Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz and Zoë White.
The award-winning faculty in the School of Filmmaking have decades of real-world experience and a passion for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in concentrations that include animation, cinematography, directing, film music composition, picture editing and sound design, producing, production design and visual effects, and screenwriting. The film school’s Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL) is dedicated to the exploration and production of immersive storytelling content.
An annual trip to Los Angeles to screen thesis films helps connect students to the industry to launch careers, and partnerships with the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem and the Sundance Film Festival provide crucial practical opportunities.
During the pandemic, the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA maintained in-person instruction and continued producing student films, which were created using industry standard safety protocols and employing safety monitors. Students in the School of Filmmaking make more than 130 films a year with all equipment and financing provided by the university. UNCSA also now showcases third- and fourth-year films online, expanding the audience worldwide.
Several UNCSA alumni are associated with this year’s Oscar-nominated films: Zach Seivers was sound recording mixer and sound supervisor for Best Picture winner “Nomadland,” and Kaitlyn Ali was key editing production assistant for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” nominated for six awards, including best achievement in film editing. Seivers also received a BAFTA nomination.
Two 2021 graduates of the undergraduate directing program were chosen for prestigious fellowships. Jo Hatcher was one of 11 screenwriters selected to participate in the Sundance Institute’s ninth annual Screenwriters Intensive in March, and Travis Stewart is one of 50 filmmakers nationwide who will participate in the Television Academy’s Summer Fellows program.
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August 13, 2021