UNCSA School of Filmmaking is among the world's top 50

Speakers at the summit included leaders from Oculus, Paramount Pictures, IBM Academy of Technology, Tribeca Film Institute, Unity Technologies Labs, Looking Glass Studios, D-BOX Technologies and Lowe’s Innovation Labs. “These are some of the top thought leaders and influencers working with emerging technologies,” said Ruskin.

New graduate programs in Creative Producing and Screenwriting were introduced in 2016-17 and were instantly over-enrolled, with students of diverse backgrounds who contribute to the richness and quality of stories being developed.  Lauren Vilchik, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies for the film school, said the students in creative producing and screenwriting come with varied real-life, leadership and storytelling experiences, though not from traditional film school programs. 

“Filmmaking is a collaborative art, so the difference in perspectives is very important,” she said. “You don’t want a cohort of homogeneous thoughts.”

The UNCSA School of Filmmaking is also home to the top-ranked M.F.A. program in Film Music Composition. “We're the only film school that has a music composition program built in, so every film we produce can have an original score,” said Chris Heckman, an alumnus and now director of the program. “Students in Film Music Composition have to meet the visions of the filmmakers, just like the real world. It is a truly collaborative effort designed to mimic a professional post-production process. From reading scripts, to writing demos, spotting, recording, mixing, and mastering, every step of the process is covered and experienced.”

UNCSA’s top-quality education offers a wealth of hands-on filmmaking experience and the latest in filmmaking and technologies with tuition that is up to $50,000 less than that of the other prominent film schools.  “And students begin making films – all funded by the University – during their first year,” Dean Ruskin said. “That doesn’t happen elsewhere, and it offers immeasurable value to the educational experience and a way to level the playing field for all students.”


Lauren Whitaker
University of North Carolina School of the Arts

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