Hi. I’m Julie McElmurry.
I knew people whose stories I wanted to world to hear. I made my first short doc in 2016 and started CUFS to gather together film professionals to teach and adults like me who want to learn filmmaking from them.
Where we started
We started as a group on meetup.com. I (Julie McElmurry) had completed my first 4 short documentaries in 18 months and needed to find “my people”, fellow indie, low-budget filmmakers. Since I was self-taught at that point, I also knew I needed in-person teaching in order to level up.
I combined my past experience gained in event planning, college teaching and running the logistics of a graduate school program and reached out to local film professionals who could teach and found people like me who wanted to learn from them.
Where we’ve been
Thanks to a partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we have served over 600 Charlotte adults by offering free filmmaking classes at these library branches: Hickory Grove, Main, Beatties Ford Road, Plaza Midwood, Sugar Creek, West Boulevard and University City.
In addition, we’ve served another 200 people through classes at rented spaces including at Advent Coworking.
Including classes, we’ve had over 200 events including hosting movie premieres of local indie filmmakers, parties to celebrate our “birthday” and networking events in English and Spanish.
Where we’re going
2020 has made us rethink how we do everything. Not gonna lie, it has been tricky since in-person classes have been one of our defining characteristics.
Here we are in August, 2020, ready to try and fail and try and fail again, just like we always have. We don’t know what is going to work, but we’re going to take the steps forward to offer events and classes in new, safe ways.
We’ll continue to prioritize and champion low budget, indie filmmakers who know how to maximize creativity. We serve filmmakers working in fiction and non fiction alike and at all levels of skill, but primarily we are building on-ramps for adults who have always wanted to tell the stories only they can tell. We help them find the tools, skills and contacts they need to bring their projects to life.
FALL 2020 TEACHERS