Aug. 9, 2011 / For Release Upon Receipt
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337,



Ranked 12th in the World by The Hollywood Reporter;
Los Angeles Times Profiles Jordan Kerner's Success As Dean

WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking has been ranked 12th on The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list of the 25 best film schools in the world.

The UNCSA School of Filmmaking was ranked eighth in the United States and second among the public schools on the list.


“Don’t come to Carolina unless you’re serious about filmmaking,” said The Hollywood Reporter, noting the School of Filmmaking’s academic rigor and strong “shadows,” or internship, program that puts students on the set with notable faculty.


The article quotes UNCSA School of Filmmaking Dean Jordan Kerner: “’Our graduates have made films that receive hundreds of millions of dollars and on the other side of the spectrum, won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year.’” Kerner is also the producer of THE SMURFS, which earned $35.6 million in its U.S. opening two weekends ago.


UNCSA’s prestigious position on the list has been reported by the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, N.C. Film Commission, Visit North Carolina, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Huffington Post, among many others. The article, “The 25 Best Film School Rankings,” by Tim Appelo, first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter on July 27.


In compiling the list, The Hollywood Reporter consulted industry insiders, executives, filmmakers and film school graduates.  Participants were asked to rate each program based on alumni, cost, facilities, industry access and strength of faculty. 


What The Hollywood Reported cited in its ranking is echoed in a recent article by Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times (“Smurfs’ producer’s other job? Film school dean, Aug. 5). The article lauded School of Filmmaking Dean Jordan Kerner’s leadership.


Thanks to Kerner’s innovative ideas, undergrads at UNCSA are getting an education not just in theory and production, but in the often less-than-glamorous aspects of life in the trenches of Hollywood,” Goldstein said.

“Kerner has recruited a host of faculty members who still have their day jobs, which helps give students a grounding in the kind of pragmatic problem-solving necessary to survive on a film set. Through a shadowing program, students get to spend weeks at a time on movie sets, seeing their professor (or in the case of Kerner, their dean) in action,” Goldstein added.


“When I arrived,” Kerner is quoted as saying, “we had way too many student films that were full of close-ups of smoking guns, employing the imagery of video games. Filmmaking isn't just about coolness and pose--you need bigger subjects to tell.”


Goldstein continued: “So Kerner started an American Immersion project, where students gain a deeper understanding of character and story by spending several weeks at places like the Veterans (Affairs) Hospital in Philadelphia and Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans.”


Goldstein added: “My biggest concern with today’s film schools is that they tend to offer students far more instruction in technique than actual ideas, which is perhaps one reason why we see a generation of filmmakers who seem to value box office success far more than artistic accomplishment. But the student films I watched from UNCSA were loaded with strong ideas, wit and imagination.”


Jordan Kerner was brought on board as film dean by UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri in 2007.


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.