This preview has been provided by the UNC School of the Arts.

The nationally-ranked School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts presents a free screening of seven student films from the 2016-17 school year. The 90-minute program begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, in Main Theatre of ACE Exhibition Complex on the campus at 1533 South Main St.

Film Dean Susan Ruskin, who curated the collection for the screening, said it gets harder every year to choose which films to show. “The quality of our student work is astounding. It is very difficult to select just 90 minutes’ worth,” she said. “The good news is we will present a second 90-minute screening in February, so we can showcase more of the excellent work by our students and their faculty mentors.”

The School of Filmmaking recently was ranked among the nation’s best film schools by two leading industry publications. The Hollywood Reporter ranked it at No. 14 for the third year in a row, and MovieMaker magazine included the school on its list of 40 top schools, which were listed alphabetically by region without assigning rank.

The February film screening will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, in Main Theatre.

Fourth-year films to be screened Sept. 22 include:

“Coffee: An Opera”

Written by Anthony Jenkins; directed by Edward Loupe; produced by Peyton Marion and Marty McCarthy. In a cozy musical vignette, three stories intertwine over the course of one night and a warm cup in a neighborhood coffee shop.


Written and directed by Dri Damasceno; produced by Jason Thomas and Addison Sharp. A chance encounter between a beautiful drifter and a cynical gas station clerk results in a night that neither of them will ever forget.

“Supernova” (animated)

Directed by Gavin Lankford and Alek Kosinski; produced by Marty McCarthy; 3D models by Isaac Phillips-London. When a little boy’s late-night viewing of his favorite space adventure videotape is cut short by a scolding from his mom, he channels the heroism of his sci-fi fantasy hero and makes it his mission to get the tape back.

Third-year films included in the screening are:

“Miner Difficulties” (animated)

Directed and animated by Scott Smoot. Two robots compete for resources. Little do they know they have more to worry about than just each other.

“Where Mothbloods Bloom”

Written by Grant Conversano and Kevin Cutrara; directed by Conversano; produced by Dorian Thomas and Cutrara. Fed up and exhausted, Autumn cuts off her relationship with her heroin addict boyfriend. This leaves her stranded and alone at a gas station at night, where she reaches out to Zane, a truck driver who’s eating alone.

Second-year films to be screened include:

“Mouth to Mouth”

Written by Nicholas Dardes; directed by Nicholas Guy; produced by Stacia Bohnert and Dardes. A lifeguard pays kids to pretend they’re drowning so he can “save them” to impress the girl he works with, until one kid thwarts his plans.


Written by Brian Sheehan; directed by Aidan Weaver; produced by Katie Sanderson and Mike Rodway. Two men hired to clean up after hitmen enter a crime scene expecting to find two bodies. When they find a third, things go south.


The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, 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 dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. 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 when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit