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Nov. 12, 2013/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



 UNCSA student films selected to screen at Cucalorus and festivals across the state and beyond


WINSTON-SALEM – Susan Ruskin, dean of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking, will attend the 19th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival this week in Wilmington, N.C., to see numerous UNCSA student films screening at the festival and to participate in a panel discussion titled “State of the Slate: The future of film and TV in North Carolina.”

The panel discussion, at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Ballroom of Thalian Hall, also will include Aaron Syrett, director of the N.C. Film Commission; Dale Williams, film and television production manager for “Under the Dome”; Bill Vassar, vice president of EUE Screen Gems Studios, based in Wilmington; and Jason Rosin, business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States (IATSE) Local 491.

Susan Ruskin
The special panel is presented by Entertainment Partners and will highlight the evolving production incentive tax structure and production resources that have made North Carolina a filmmaker’s destination. It will be moderated by Joe Chianese, executive vice president of EP Financial Solutions. The panel discussion will be available as a free webinar at 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 19, by registering at http://engage.vevent.com/rt/411_publishing~111913.

Cucalorus is one of several festivals across the state and beyond where UNCSA student films are enjoying unprecedented success.

Ruskin said festivals are good exposure for the filmmakers and for the school. “As a filmmaker, you want your work to be seen by as many people as possible. Film festivals are the best way for young filmmakers to be discovered.”

Festival participation is also important for UNCSA, she said, “because it highlights the caliber of work that goes on here, showcases the talent of our students and our faculty, and enables us to continue recruiting the most accomplished faculty and the most promising students.” 

Five UNCSA student films are screening at Cucalorus. One is HELPLESS, a second-year film directed by Christene Hurley from Wilmington, N.C., and written and produced by Evan Scott Russell from Carrollton, Ga., which won the jury award for Best Student Film at Big Bear Lake International Film Festival in California in September. HELPLESS also was screened at the Asheville Cinema Festival, held Nov. 7-10. It also will screen at the Carrboro (N.C.) Film Festival, Nov. 23 and 24.

In addition to HELPLESS, the following films will be screened at Cucalorus this week:

·         BALDWIN, directed by Jeremiah Cullen (West Jefferson), written by Sam Newsome (Raleigh), and produced by Ashlee Franklin (Harrisburg). The third-year film screened at Real to Reel in Kings Mountain.

·         DEATH AND THE ROBOT, written and directed by Austin Taylor (Angier), with Thompson as co-writer and co-producer, and Julia Festa (Fayetteville) as co-producer. The fourth-year film screened in Asheville, and will be screened at Carrboro. 

·         REMY, a fourth-year film directed and written by Andreas Guzman (Bois Le Roi, France) and produced by Brandon White (Winston-Salem).

·         THE VIRGINS, a fourth-year film directed by Andy Rakich (Wayland, Mass.), written by Nicholas Rossano (Detroit, Mich.), and produced by Whitney Hill (Thomasville) and Zach Turner (Glen Arm, Md.).

In other festival news, BEAST made its world premiere in September at the XII St. Petersburg (Russia) International Festival of Debut and Student Films, as one of only 25 films in the student short competition. A third-year film, it was directed by Jean-Jacques Martinod (Guayaquil, Ecuador) and produced by Martinod and Kyle Bell (Liberty).

LINK, a third-year film directed by Alexander Thompson (Pembroke, Mass.) was screened Nov. 7 at the Emerging Filmmakers Forum in Los Angeles. It was written by Thompson and Austin Elliott (Summerfield) and produced by Mitch Rumfelt (Asheville) and Josh Barker (Winston-Salem). LINK won Best Student Short at the Real to Reel International Film Festival in Kings Mountain, N.C., in July, and has been selected to screen in Carrboro.

Also screening in Carrboro will be:

·         U-666, a fourth-year film directed by Jimmy Kelly (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), written by Wesley Broome (Chapel Hill), and produced by Konstantin Sumtsev (Morrisville).

·         WINGS, directed by Adam Perry (Chapel Hill), written by Ryan Hibbett (High Point), and produced by Tay Nikonovich (Waxhaw). A third-year film, it also was screened at Real to Reel.

The Asheville Cinema Festival also selected WHAT REMAINS, a fourth-year film written and directed by Julie Zografos Koegl (Statesville), produced by Julia Festa with Daniel Parra (Indian Trail) and Bernice Miller (Winston-Salem).with cinematography by David Robertson, production design by Taylor Dennis, edited by Chris Joslyn, with an original score composed by Mark Haas. The film also screened at Real to Reel in Kings Mountain.

Two additional films were screened at Real to Reel in July. PARTS won the Real-to-Real award for Best Student Animated Short Film. The fourth-year film was directed, written and animated by Meredith Hannah (Salisbury). DEATH OF EURYDICE, fourth-year film, was directed by Gabriela Quiroz (Clayton), written by Hibbett, and produced by Katelin Perry (Carteret, N.J.) and White.

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.