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March 20, 2014/For Immediate Release

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




WINSTON-SALEM – A film by students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts could earn a $5,000 donation for the School of Filmmaking. BECAUSE WE HAVE TO is one of six finalists for the Sprite Films competition.

Written and directed by Lucian Murphree, a School of Film sophomore from Omaha, Neb., and produced by Char-lay Douglas, a Film senior from Conover, BECAUSE WE HAVE TO was among 135 films submitted from 23 colleges and universities throughout the country.

The finalist films can be viewed online beginning Monday, March 24 at http://www.sprite.com/films/ and viewers can vote for the “fan favorite” which earns the donation to the school, plus a trip for the film team to The American Film Institute’s film festival in November 2014 in Los Angeles. Voting ends May 15.

In addition, a group of film industry experts will crown the Green Ribbon Panel winner, which will debut in select theatres across the country in August 2014. Those involved with the Green Ribbon Panel winner will have the opportunity to work on a Sprite brand project with an agency that does business with The Coca-Cola Company.

 “This is a wonderful experience for these young filmmakers,” said Film Dean Susan Ruskin. “As a student, you want to take advantage of every opportunity to have your work seen by professionals in the industry. The feedback is immeasurable.”

Char-Lay Douglas and Lucian Murphree on the set of BECAUSE WE HAVE TO

She said that projects like the Sprite film help students expand their skill sets. “They learn to create purpose-driven stories for companies like Coca-Cola. Those skills are in high demand, so it enhances their resumes,” Ruskin said.  

She added that the film’s selection reflects well on the School of Filmmaking. “To be one of six chosen from among 135 entries is remarkable. It speaks to the quality of instruction our students receive.”

The six finalist films will premiere at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world, which begins Monday in Las Vegas.

BECAUSE WE HAVE TO is the story of a graffiti artist who is driven to express himself in an unusual way.

Additional Film students involved with the project include:

·         Ayinde Anderson (sophomore, Raleigh) second assistant camera

·         Will Bethel (freshman, North Bay Village, Fla.) camera production assistant

·         Jack Caswell (junior, Myrtle Beach, S.C.) director of photography

·         Dustin Chandler (sophomore, Connelly Springs) production assistant

·         Kacie Craver (senior, Lexington) art director

·         Jeremiah Cullen (senior, West Jefferson) first assistant director

·         Andrew Dole (freshman, Charlotte) marketing manager

·         Anthony Goodman (sophomore, Fayetteville) first assistant camera

·         Tyler Harmon-Townsend (junior, Winston-Salem) gaffer

·         David Harris (senior, Hope Mills) editor

·         Ryan Heefner (senior, Pineville) editor

·         Carol Housel-Kenney (junior, Durham) casting director

·         Clayton Kagi (sophomore, Mechanicsville, Va.) grip

·         Sean Kelley (sophomore, Myrtle Beach, S.C.) grip

·         Graham Kennedy (freshman, McKinney, Texas) still photographer

·         Matt Kenny (sophomore, Winston-Salem) location manager

·         Will Massengill (junior, Benson) behind the scenes sound mixer

·         Joshua Mayo (sophomore, Winston-Salem) behind the scenes editor, who also appears in the film.

·         Cole McCabe (sophomore, Clemmons) behind the scenes videographer

·         James McDonough (senior, Pittsburgh, Pa.)  sound mixer

·         Donald Monroe (junior, Cornelius) camera operator

·         Ryan Morris (freshman, Winston-Salem) electrician

·         Kathryn Mullaney (sophomore, Hartford, Conn.) set dresser

·         Madeliene Painter (sophomore, Virginia Beach, Va.) script supervisor

·         Isaac Phillips-London (freshman, Waynesville) production assistant

·         Matt Roveto (freshman, Duxbury, Mass.) best boy electric

·         Drew Sanders (senior, Falls Church, Va.) set decorator

·         Scott Siracusano (sophomore, Mount Laurel, N.J.) gaffer

·         Shaun Swift (sophomore, Shelby) production assistant

·         Aaron Teebor (freshman, Agoura Hills, Calif.) production Assistant

·         Chiara  von der Goltz (senior, Greensboro) production designer

·         Clayton Witmer (sophomore, Germanton) production assistant

Students from the UNCSA School of Design and Production who were involved include Amy McDonald, a freshman from Seattle, Wash., who designed the costumes; and Haley Richardson, a junior from Fayetteville, who designed the makeup.

UNCSA School of Dance freshman Ariel Blake, from Charlotte, appears in the film.

Sam Ogden, a 2011 graduate of the School of Filmmaking, was mural artist for the film.


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.