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UNC System Approves MFA in Filmmaking Programs

Apr 21, 2015

UNCSA and UNCW to offer complimentary programs

GREENVILLE-At their April 2015 Board Meeting, the UNC System Board of Governors gave approval to the UNC School of the Arts and UNC Wilmington to develop Masters of Fine Art programs in filmmaking.

Both programs have been developed in conjunction with each other and planned collaborations will include a reciprocity/articulation agreement, mutual online courses, sharing of resources and joint networking and screening events as well as all students in both programs taking an additional industry entrepreneurship course that will be offered at UNCSA.

The program at UNCSA, located in Winston-Salem, will be a two-year program that will offer concentrations in creative producing and screenwriting and will be in addition to the existing M.F.A. concentration in film music composition.  The UNCSA program is expected to begin in fall 2016 and will have a target enrollment of approximately 35 students.

Dean Susan Ruskin of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking expressed that their new M.F.A. will be “discipline-specific programs that are about generating content and producing that content in an entrepreneurial way.  These programs will prepare, entrepreneurs, executives, productions, department heads—the kind of professionals North Carolina needs to move beyond providing labor for productions, and become a hub for the creation of original content of all kinds.”

UNCW plans to offer a three-year experience in which 12 students will be admitted each academic year to study and practice narrative, documentary and experimental approaches to motion picture production through courses in screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, sound and editing.  UNCW will be securing resources and planning the facilities necessary for the program’s implementation over the next academic year.

In commenting on the new program at UNCW, Dave Moahan, chair of the department of film studies, stated “The way motion pictures are made, distributed, and viewed continues to evolve.  This intensive program is designed to produce complete filmmakers capable of creating cinematic art as well as motion picture content for a global media marketplace.”

In approving the new M.F.A. programs, the UNC System Board of Governors noted that motion picture content has infiltrated nearly every form of communication, commerce and entertainment and that the opportunity for economic development, revenue generation, and job creation in North Carolina, in the rapidly expanding marketplace for film and video production, is significant.  The M.F.A. programs “will enable the state of North Carolina to be at the forefront of that trend, and to train the next generation of film and video professionals who will help create this future marketplace.”

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