The Hollywood Reporter ranks UNCSA School of Filmmaking No. 10 among top American film schools

The School of Filmmaking at UNCSA has been recognized by two leading publications of the film and television industry. The Hollywood Reporter (THR) ranked the school at No. 10 on its list of 25 top film schools in America (up from No. 11 in 2021), 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 Producer Training.”

THR noted the schools on its list “offered the best chance of navigating Hollywood’s changing terrain” and cited Dean Deborah LaVine and the newly launched Anthology Production Lab that focuses on the development of episodic series. The magazine also noted that TV writer and producer Emily Spivey (“Wine Country,” “Last Man on Earth,” “Saturday Night Live”) will teach Acting for Animators this fall. Spivey will be teaching in workshops also including Comedy Sketch.

UNCSA Fourth Year Film "Sugabrown"

"Sugabrown," Katherine Reeves Creative

MovieMaker magazine lauded UNCSA’s graduate Creative Producing program, writing that “storytelling meets entrepreneurship in UNCSA’s MFA in Creative Producing program …(the program) teaches students about every aspect of the story development process, from concept to draft, with workshops to develop familiarity with the script-to-screen process. Students also learn copyright law as it pertains to movie acquisitions, writing business plans, distribution, and exhibition.”

Led by Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies Lauren Vilchik, the two-year Creative Producing M.F.A. guides students in balancing artistic instincts with the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace, utilizing small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring for a personalized program that adapts to individual voices and backgrounds. The program is designed to fit the schedules of working professionals and most students can work while earning their degrees. 

“I am once again thrilled to see UNCSA get the recognition it deserves from these respected industry publications,” said Dean LaVine. “I am particularly happy to see our excellent graduate programs getting noticed, as well as the diversification of our curriculum. In today’s ever-changing landscape, it is more important than ever to prepare students for a range of work — and to do so in a way that positions them stronger financially as they graduate. I am proud that UNCSA is able to finance all student thesis films and to provide world-class training from our experienced faculty at less than half of the tuition of peer programs.”

THR mentioned notable alumni Craig Zobel (B.F.A. ’99), Emmy-nominated director of “Mare of Easttown,” and Danny McBride (B.F.A. ’99), writer/producer of “Halloween” and “The Righteous Gemstones.” MovieMaker cited alumni Jeff Nichols (B.F.A. ’01), writer/director of “Loving” and “Mud,” and Brett Haley (B.F.A. ’05), writer/director of “Hearts Beat Loud” and “The Hero.”

In making its annual list, THR “consults with knowledgeable industry players, considers changes schools have made year-over-year and examines the alma maters of the past year’s awards-season winners, film festival breakouts and box office stars.”

MovieMaker editors write that they have ensured their list “includes not just institutions with a proven record of educating Oscar-winning filmmakers, but also those far outside New York City and Los Angeles where you can learn filmmaking from some of the best, at reasonable costs.”

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, Zoë White, Spencer Beighley and Craig Zobel.

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. Partnerships with the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem and the Sundance Film Festival provide critical networking and screening opportunities, alongside annual trips to Los Angeles and New York City. Under Dean LaVine, the School of Filmmaking is connecting students to filmmakers across the globe through partnerships with RISEBA University in Riga, Latvia; IFS Köln in Cologne, Germany; and Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in Potsdam, Germany. New program offerings in episodic series and comedy sketch writing are broadening the scope of the training and making students employable across a wide spectrum of work.

Students in the School of Filmmaking make more than 130 films a year with all equipment and financing provided by the university, and tuition is less than half of other preeminent film schools. UNCSA showcases thesis films both in person and online (for a limited time), expanding the audience worldwide.

Several Filmmaking alumni are nominated for Emmy Awards, including Will Files (College Arts Diploma '02), nominated for outstanding sound editing and outstanding sound mixing for the "Chapter Seven: The Massacre at Hawkins Lab" episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things;" Michael Brake (B.F.A. ’97), nominated for outstanding sound editing for a comedy or drama series (half hour) and animation for HBO’s “Barry," "starting now" episode; Akira Fukasawa (B.F.A. ’16), nominated for outstanding sound mixing for a comedy or drama series (one hour) for the "Sanctified" episode of Netflix’s “Ozark;" Jane Rizzo (B.F.A. ’98), nominated for outstanding single-camera picture editing for a drama series for episode "Chiantishire" of HBO’s “Succession;" and Nathaniel Park (B.F.A. '05), nominated for outstanding main title design for his work as lead editor as part of a team for Apple TV+'s "Pachinko."

August 05, 2022