Nov. 9, 2012/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



Students from all five arts schools collaborated on MOLLY UNDER THE MOON

WINSTON-SALEM – A University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) student film has been accepted for competition at one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious festivals for student films. MOLLY UNDER THE MOON, which premiered in May, will be screened at the Munich International Festival of Film Schools, Nov. 11-17.

MOLLY UNDER THE MOON is a collaborative effort between all five of UNCSA’s arts schools: Filmmaking, Dance, Drama, Music, and Design and Production. It was written by Zack Strum and Blake Engle, with Strum as director. Both are 2012 graduates of UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking.  

School of Filmmaking Interim Dean Susan Ruskin said the Munich festival is an important launch for the film into the festival circuit. The Munich Film Festival celebrates emerging filmmakers, and it is an honor to have the School of the Arts represented,” she said.  “We are especially pleased as Molly Under The Moon not only represents the film school, but all the conservatories on the UNCSA campus.”

MOLLY UNDER THE MOON was produced by Nick Hoisington (Filmmaking, 2012) and Anna Rooney (a former graduate student in the School of Design and Production).

Award-winning composer Leo Hurley (Music 2011) wrote the score, which was recorded in the Film Scoring Stage with the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Dwinell (Music, 2005 high school and 2008, college). Dwinell is a School of Music graduate student in conducting. UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, a winner of two Emmy Awards, served as supervising musical producer.

Hurley’s score will have its world concert premiere by the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra on April 27, 2013, conducted by Dwinell.

In MOLLY UNDER THE MOON, a sculptor waits -- hidden deep in a forest amongst his statues -- for his girlfriend, Molly. Their rendezvous is cut short when the statues come to life by the light of the moon and the sculptor has to decide whether his passion lies in his work or in his love.

MOLLY is one of 229 films submitted to the Munich festival by 72 schools in 34 countries. The festival accepted 50 films from 38 film schools in 22 countries for competition in eight categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Production. Other U.S. schools participating are the University of California at Los Angeles, Columbia University, and Chapman University.

“Whoever deplores the state of the film medium ought to see these films. The latest generation demonstrates that we have a lot to look forward to," remarked Beatrice Behn, film critic, director of the International Comedy Film Festival in Berlin, and a member of the selection committee for the Munich festival.

More than 3,500 student films have been presented at the Munich festival since it was established in 1981. Previous participants include Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck who went on to win an Academy Award as director of The Lives of Others, and Caroline Link, who later won an Academy Award as director of Nowhere in Africa. For information, visit http://www.filmschoolfest-munich.de/en/filmprogramm-iffh/film-abc.aspx?filmId=48

Others involved with the film include:

  • Leanne Catena (Design and Production 2012, M.F.A.), hair and makeup design
  • Preller Chambers (Filmmaking, 2012), cinematographer
  • Ben Coalter (Dance, 2012), cast
  • Pinky Estell (graduate student in Design and Production), set construction
  • Jenny Ford (Filmmaking, 2012), production designer
  • Hillary Franklin (Dance, 2012), choreographer
  • Lauren Haug (college senior in Dance), cast
  • Tom Hauser (graduate student in film music composition in Filmmaking), music editor
  • Jacob Highland (college junior in Filmmaking), visual effects
  • Gen Liu (Filmmaking, 2012), film editor
  • Steven Maier (college junior in Drama), cast
  • Jason Torres (graduate student in Design and Production), hair and makeup design
  • Adriana Uruena (college senior in Dance), cast

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.