Feb. 26, 2013/For Immediate Release

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


Alex Moratto Is One of Eight Filmmakers Selected   

(Winston-Salem) Winston-Salem native Alex Moratto, a 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking, is one of eight filmmakers currently participating in Film Independent’s Directing Lab. He is in Los Angeles working with mentors from the film industry on an untitled project that he wrote.

The Directing Lab is an intensive 10-week program that helps directors develop new feature films and improve their craft. Filmmakers gain access to a wide variety of production resources, receive script feedback, are able to cast actors to workshop scenes, and collaborate with cinematographers. After completion of the program the accepted directors become Film Independent Fellows and receive year-round support.

In Moratto’s film, two brothers smuggle rare lumber to sell on the black market, hoping to save their family’s rural home in the Amazon from armed loggers. It is produced by Summer Shelton of Mount Airy, a 2008 UNCSA Film alumna. Shelton was a 2012 Sundance Producing Fellow for the project.

“Alex has a singular voice among young filmmakers, and it is wonderful to see him being recognized and supported by industry professionals,” said Susan Ruskin, Interim Dean of the School of Filmmaking. “We are proud that two of our alumni – Alex and Summer – have earned prestigious fellowships for this Amazon project.”

“I look forward to seeing the film,” Ruskin added.

Moratto is a Brazilian-American filmmaker. He was a Kenan Scholar at UNCSA, where his thesis film THE OTHER SIDE won the 2010 Jury Award for Latino filmmakers from the Directors Guild of America. He attended Werner Herzogʼs 2010 Rogue Film School Seminar and was the recipient of the 2012 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship for Screenwriting. He wrote and directed THE PARTING, filmed entirely in Winston-Salem. The short film premiered at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in 2011, and was screened at RiverRun International Film Festival in 2012.

Among this year's mentors for the Directing Lab are Karen Moncreiff (THE TRIALS OF CATE mcCALL, THE DEAD GIRL), James Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW, SMASHED) and Angela Robinson (TRUE BLOOD, THE L WORD).

Recent projects created through the Directing Lab are Sheldon Candis' LUV, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and Robbie Pickering's NATURAL SELECTION, which was nominated for Best First Feature at 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

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.