Film Studies' Chip Hackler Named Member of Governor’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Associate Professor Chip Hackler ’84 was named a member of Governor Cooper’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming. Hackler has been a member of the Seahawk community for more than 40 years, beginning as an English student in the 80s and working as a community tutor in the Writing Center during the 90s. In 2000, Hackler became a faculty member in the Film Studies Department. In addition to his B.A. in English from UNCW, Hackler also holds an M.F.A. in creative writing with an emphasis in screenwriting from Goddard College.

“The main purpose of the Council is to support film in a way that’s sustainable,” said Hackler. “There’s a misconception that tax incentives help rich producers in L.A. who shouldn’t need any help, and that movies are all about red carpets and limousines. But the truth is, it’s really about creating jobs. It’s a competitive industry, and without strong incentives, the projects won’t come here; they’ll go to South Carolina or Georgia.”

The Council held its first meeting December 10 in Raleigh, shortly after a visit to Wilmington by Governor Cooper. Hackler is optimistic about what they might be able to achieve.

“I think [Cooper] really believes in the value of having a strong film industry in NC,” said Hackler. “The industry provides good, clean, well-paying jobs, and it’s extremely beneficial for small business owners, restaurants, hotels, hardware stores, you name it. We’ve got the talent and experience to compete with crews anywhere in the world if the projects will just come here.”

In addition to its economic impact, Hackler also cites film as being culturally significant and an important part of a thriving arts scene.

“Something new is being created, with talented people and diverse resources. It’s exciting and different,” he said. “You’re going to go home and tell somebody about it. It makes Wilmington a more interesting place to live.” 

Two new film-related master’s programs at UNCW are now accepting applications. The M.A. in film studies and M.F.A. in filmmaking have open enrollment until February. The programs are designed to provide students with comprehensive knowledge of film-related fields and work in conjunction to maximize learning and career opportunities. Fostering collaborative campus partnerships is a priority of the university’s Strategic Plan.

-- Christina Schechtman