People like you are part of the Charlotte Film School.

Thank you your interest in the Charlotte  Film School.

We asked 4 people why they signed up to take workshops with us.
“I would like to improve my craft. I think I understand the process but I need to learn to pay more attention to detail. I would like to know more about I need to think about.”
Learning with others and any chance I would have to give back.”
“I have no experience with film making so I want to learn everything I can, especially when it comes to making something that can affect people in a positive way.”
“It’s an excellent opportunity to be part of a community of folks trying to improve their filmmaking skills.”

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Origin Story

The Charlotte Unconventional Film School was an idea in April, 2017. I (Julie McElmurry) was contemplating taking a 7 day intensive course at a big-name filmmaking school in another city for $2000. I’d been learning documentary filmmaking by doing documentary filmmaking for 2 years at that point and wanted some in-person instruction from pros.

My husband and I sat down with index cards and wrote out all the things I wanted to learn. Then we asked the question, what’s another way I can learn these things? Using this Design Thinking technique, we realized there were working filmmaking professionals locally, in Charlotte, who could teach those things. We realized I could in Charlotte rather than go to that other city for a week. We realized there are probably other men and women in town who want to learn all or some of these things as well. We realized this $2000 could be put towards making this new thing happen in Charlotte, with local people over the course of months.

Skip ahead to today (Spring of 2019) and we are in our third semester of classes, averaging 50 people per class for our free Saturday workshops ( and between 5-10 for our paid workshops.

Talented men and women have emerged in this year and a half who also care about the education, promotion and appreciation of local filmmakers and we’re thrilled that one way they do that is via the work of The Charlotte Unconventional Film School (CUFS). We have been taught by award-winning, critically acclaimed filmmakers with expertise in directing, writing, editing, producing and more. We have been taught by the coordinator of a local monthly film festival who, in 2018 alone, has reviewed over 1,000 movies.

CUFS is almost two years old. We’re evolving and we’re learning to articulate what we are about and who we are here to serve. Ultimately, we are about bringing people together. Through filmmaking. We look forward to partnering with more and more non-profits, businesses and other organizations in order to be exponentially more effective than either of us would be on our own.