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A “Golden” gift to the UNCSA School of Filmmaking this holiday season

by Mark Burger

A “Golden” gift to the UNCSA School of Filmmaking this holiday season

You know the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. That’s the organization that presents the Golden Globe Awards every year, and this year the HFPA has also presented an award to the UNC School of the Arts: A $20,000 grant for fellowships.

The school was one of only nine to receive grants from the HFPA this year, and the funds will support scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at the School of Filmmaking during the academic year.

Over the last decade, the HPFA has granted over $150,000 to UNCSA, supporting more than 85 HPFA Fellows to follow their professional aspirations in the motion-picture industry.

The School of Filmmaking has only been open since 1993, but there have been quite a few graduates who have made a splash in Tinseltown, among them David Gordon Green (director of Pineapple Express and George Washington, the latter filmed in Winston-Salem); Jody Hill (director of Observe and Report and executive producer/creator of the hit HBO series “Eastbound & Down”), Jeff Nichols (director of the critically acclaimed Shotgun Stories), Tim Orr (award-winning cinematographer of Dandelion, Pineapple Express and Observe and Report) and actor Danny McBride (Up in the Air and writer/ executive producer/star of “Eastbound & Down”).

“We are grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this gift, and for their continued confidence in our film program,” said Jordan Kerner, dean of the School of Filmmaking and a successful producer in his own right (Fried Green Tomatoes, the Mighty Ducks franchise, the remake of Charlotte’s Web), in a statement. “Scholarships can make all the difference when we are recruiting the most talented students for our film school.”

Kerner, who became dean in 2007, is balancing his duties as dean with pursuing his latest project — a bigscreen adaptation of The Smurfs. Yes, The Smurfs (Unless Gene Hackman comes out of retirement to star in it, I don’t believe I’ll be the first one on line to see it.)

For the lowdown on all the goingson at UNCSA, visit the official website:www.uncsa.edu.

===================The awards continue to roll out at UNCSA, as School of Music student Leo Hurley was recently named one of the recipients of the 2009 Morton Gould Young Composers Award, as presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation.

The 19-year-old Hurley, a native of Rollinsford, NH, is the first UNCSA student to be honored with this award, and he won for his saxophonequartet composition “Zydeco,” which was written as part of the PRISM Quartet 21 st Century Residency, which was held at the UNCSA School of Music last January.

The award was established in 1979 with funding from the Jack and Amy Norworth Memorial Fund, and each year bestows cash prizes to young composers up to age 30 whose works have been evaluated by a juried national competition. In 2009, some 39 young composers were selected from almost 700 applicants.

The award is named for Morton Gould, the noted composer who served as the president of ASCAP and the ASCAP Foundation from 1986 to 1994. In 1994, he received the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime contribution to American culture. The next year, he received a Pulitzer Prize for “Stringmusic,” a composition commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra to commemorate the final season of director Mstislav Rostropovich. In 2005, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Gould died in 2006. That year, the ASCAP Foundation Young Composer program was dedicated to his memory.

Even before winning this award, Leo Hurley has already made a name for himself with commissions and performances that include the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the La Biennale Festival, both in California; at the opening of the North Carolina Legislature; at Maya Angelou’s 80 th birthday celebration; the Winston- Salem Symphony; the Greensboro Children’s Chorus; and many more.

In 2008, he won the Winston-Salem

Symphony composition competition and saw his work “Echoes of Red” premiered on the Mary Sterling concert series. Recently commissioned by the Carolina Ballet Company in South Carolina, Hurley is working on his first full-length ballet.

Hurley and the other winners of the Young Composers Award were recognized at the 10th Annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards at the Times Center in New York City earlier this year.

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