Ready for Its Close Up: University Film Center Open for Fall 2021

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The University Film Center has made its debut. Located in the back of campus off Riegel Road, the impressive space boasts a 4,000-square-foot soundstage. The modern, 80-seat theater is slated to screen selections during the 27th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival in November.

The facility is outfitted with high-end industry grade equipment, to which students have 24/7 access. The production spaces offer students of all levels hands-on training in digital cinematography, digital editing, sound recording, design and mixing and the ability to screen their own work.

“We're excited to welcome more than 300 undergraduate and 48 graduate students into this new exciting space where they will have access to state-of-the-art filmmaking technology to develop their craft and conduct film and media scholarship,” said Mariana Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Film Studies.

Film studies faculty offices are still located in King Hall; the center was built to accommodate the department’s growing academic programs. In addition to the popular undergraduate option, two new graduate programs – the Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and a Master of Arts in Film Studies – were launched last fall.

Screen Gems Studios was consulted in the design of the soundproof metal building, which is akin to a Hollywood studio. The design was completed by Becker Morgan Group, ranked by Architectural Record as one of the nation’s top 300 architectural firms. The film center is cited as one of the projects that led to the ranking.

In addition to the new space and new programs, new faculty members Stefani Byrd, Kate Hinshaw and Deepak Rauniyar have joined the department. The film studies faculty is made up of published scholars and active filmmakers whose work engages a broad spectrum of cinema studies and creative expression.

-- Caroline Cropp