New Film Studies Building Currently in Production, Set for Spring 2021 Opening

Friday, October 09, 2020

In addition to being the home of EUE Screen Gems Studios, Wilmington has long been an active film and television production hub. Since its inception in 2003, the UNCW Department of Film Studies has had a deep connection to the area film industry. Students and alumni alike have interned at the studio, worked on local sets and participated in nationally recognized film festivals. Next spring, the department will have a new location.

“We ran out of space in King and Kenan Halls,” said Mariana Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Film Studies. “Student demand for film studies in North Carolina is evidenced in part by the popularity of the undergraduate program at UNCW. With 300 student majors drawn from various states and countries, film studies is a vibrant and growing department.”

Situated near the intersection of Plyler Drive and Riegel Road, the new building will include a 4,000-square-foot soundstage, where students will receive hands-on training in a broad range of media applications, including digital cinematography; digital editing; and sound recording, design and mixing. The metal shell of the production and sound spaces offers a clean aesthetic, similar to an actual film studio.

The facility will also house a state-of-the-art theater for students to study cinema, screen work and host events. Slated for completion in spring 2021, the building will support film studies’ newly launched graduate programs, the Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and a Master of Arts in Film Studies. The programs admitted their first cohort of students this fall.

-- Caroline Cropp