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Nov. 22, 2013/For Immediate Release

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



Organization honors women and minority student filmmakers


(Winston-Salem) Three filmmakers from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) will receive jury awards from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). The awards honor exceptional minority and women directors from film schools and select universities around the country.

The winners from the School of Filmmaking are Jeremiah Cullen, a senior from West Jefferson; Julie Koegl, a 2013 graduate from Statesville; and Andreas Guzman, a 2013 graduate from Bois LeRoi, France. They will have their films screened at an awards presentation on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in New York.


A scene from BALDWIN, directed by Jeremiah Cullen

“This is great news,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the Film School. “To have three students winning jury awards in one year is testament to the talent of our students, the quality of our program, and the expertise of our faculty.”

Ruskin added that three DGA awards in one year doubles the school’s total number.  Previously, Jesse Pilkes won in 2007 for NEST OF SPIDERS, Marco Garcia won in 2008 for 1915, and Alex Moratto won in 2010 for THE OTHER SIDE. Pilkes and Garcia are 2008 graduates of the Film School, and Moratto graduated in 2010.  

Cullen directed BALDWIN, a third-year film that that won the DGA jury award for Best African American Student Filmmaker. Written by Sam Newsome, a senior from Raleigh, and produced by senior Ashlee Franklin from Harrisburg, it screened at the Real to Reel Film Festival in Kings Mountain and at Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington.  It is the story of a young boy who has recently lost his caring mother and now lives alone with his emotionally distant father. He learns about humanity and family from the most unlikely of companions, his robot butler, Baldwin.

Koegl wrote and directed WHAT REMAINS, a fourth-year film that won in the Best Woman Student Filmmaker category. Produced by 2013 graduates Julia Festa of Fayetteville and Daniel Parra of Indian Trail with senior Bernice Miller of Winston-Salem, it screened at Real to Reel and at the Asheville Film Festival. In the film, a woman is killed on her way to pick up a newborn baby that she and her husband have agreed to adopt, leaving the husband to decide whether to go through with the adoption alone.

Guzman wrote and directed REMY, a fourth-year film that won in the Best Latino Student Filmmaker category. Produced by 2013 graduate Brandon White of Winston-Salem, REMY screened at Cucalorus. It is the story of an unmotivated 23-year-old expatriate living in North Carolina whose violent disposition is awakened following an altercation with a homosexual couple.

All of the films premiered at UNCSA in May.

Founded in 1936, DGA is a 15,000-member worldwide labor organization that represents the creative and economic rights of directors and members of the directorial team working in film, television, commercials, documentaries, news, sports and new media.

“We congratulate all the winners of this year’s DGA Student Film Awards,” said DGA President Paris Barclay in a press release. “The intent of our DGA Student Film Awards is to shine a spotlight on promising new talent while continuing to encourage diversity in the entertainment industry. We’re honored to call attention to these exciting new voices and we congratulate them on a job well done.”


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.