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Lexi Baird

Lexi, class of 2021, is double-majoring in Neuroscience and the Film Studies Concentration in English and Comparative Literature. She plans to complete a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience after graduation. Lexi also has worked part-time as a sports photographer since she was twelve. After taking a film theory class as a sophomore, she realized she wanted to take as many film classes as possible. 




Barbara Blaschke

Barbara, class of 2021, is a double major in English and Comparative Literature, and Communication Studies. She is minoring in Writing for the Screen and Stage.





Liam Bradford

Class of 2023

Liam is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies and a minor in Spanish. Liam has worked as an audio-visual tech and is particularly interested in the role of music and sound in cinema. He has been published as a columnist in The Daily Tar Heel and is currently a Radio DJ for WXYC 89.3 FM Chapel Hill.



Reanna Brooks

Reanna graduated from UNC in December 2020 with highest distinction with a B.A in English with honors and double minors in Latin and Studio Art. She is currently taking a gap year working in Charlotte as a high school English teacher, and plans to pursue her PhD in English. She appreciates how the UNC English department has given her ample opportunities to publish her writing and research, and is grateful for the skills she’s gained in undergrad which will directly contribute to her future pursuits in academia.


Abigail Burns

Abigail graduated from UNC in 2023 with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature & History, and a minor in American Studies. She has particular interests in feminist body horror, slow cinema, new queer cinema, and the historical potential of film. In addition to film, she has written extensively on the topic of AIDS activism in North Carolina. Abigail is also a radio DJ at WXYC 89.3 FM Chapel Hill. In her free time, she likes to roller skate, attend concerts, and hang out with many cats.




Dylan Caskie

Dylan graduated from UNC in 2018 with a double major in Comparative Literature and Biology. After teaching English abroad for a year, Dylan entered the PhD program in English at Syracuse University. His work in graduate school has been very interdisciplinary, but has tended to focus on a set of topics at the intersection of critical race studies, animal studies, media representation, and cosmopolitanism. His recent work includes papers on colorblind animal metaphors for race in animated media, the role of museums in constructing the political meaning of artwork, and a historical study on the emergence of the animated star and early animation’s entanglement with stage magic. His current research projects are on the cosmopolitanism of tourism video games, PETA and the rhetoric of health veganism, and national constructions in 1950s film representations of hotels. In his free time, he likes to cook, watch movies, and tend to his many plants.


Veronica Chandler

Veronica, class of 2021, is a founding editor of Aspect. She is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies, and minoring in Anthropology. She is interested in all forms of film and television in any genre, whether it be live action, stop motion, or animation. As an editor for Aspect, Veronica is most interested in collaborating with other writers passionate about film and television. Veronica has been published in The Pit Journal, and is currently working on an honors thesis that explores the ways in which Hollywood’s age-old practices impact minority creators. She is committed to helping writers enhance and refine their pieces, and highlight their talent. Veronica aspires to become a writer and producer after graduating from UNC. Her hobbies outside of the classroom include running, reading, and drawing. Her favorite author is Donna Tartt, and her favorite film genre is thriller/suspense. Her greatest inspiration in filmmaking is director, actor, producer, and acting studio head Tasha Smith.


Patrick Costley

Patrick graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2020 with highest distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in economics with honors and a second major in English and comparative literature. He is currently working as a research professional at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. and plans to pursue his PhD in economics. Patrick appreciates how the UNC department of English and comparative literature challenged him to produce clear and compelling writing. The skills he developed have helped him in pursuits beyond English literature.





Evan Davison

Evan, class of 2022, is majoring in Journalism in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Carolina Film Association and as the Equipment Manager for UNC Student Television, and is heavily involved with the campus filmmaking community. He has worked on 15+ student films and documentaries in his time at Carolina, and is passionate about cinematography, editing, photography, and graphic design. Visit for examples of his work.






Timothy Dement

Timothy graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature and a concentration in Film Studies. After hopping through various cities and jobs in North Carolina, he, his wife, and their two hound dogs have settled in Raleigh, where he earned a Master of Computer Science degree from North Carolina State University and now works as an Automation and Test Developer with IBM. Despite “going to the dark side” of STEM, he is constantly surprised by the affinity between Computer Science and the humanities — code is language — and appreciative of the many ways his undergraduate studies uniquely prepared him for his current role and interests. In the raging dumpster fire that has been the year 2020, he continues to find solace in literature, film, and art in its various forms, and is exceedingly pleased and grateful to be included in this journal.


Hateya Foxx

A psychology major with a minor in social and economic justice, Hateya will graduate in the spring of 2021. Although she is open to different career paths, she plans to attend graduate school in the hopes of participating in academic research. Her interests are centered around developmental psychology, specifically regarding the influence of socioeconomic factors and/or popular media on child development.





Matthew Gebbia

Matthew, class of 2023, is a double major in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies, as well as Communications with a concentration in Media and Technology Studies and Media Production. Matthew possesses a distinct approach to both writing and filmmaking as his academic journey has been marked by a strong commitment to explore the intersection between film theory and its practical application. His deep understanding of cinematic language and storytelling techniques allows him to critically analyze films from a theoretical standpoint, while his hands-on experience in media production equips him with the practical skills necessary to bring stories to life on the screen.



Theo Holt

Theo is a Dramatic Arts major at UNC and Film major at Duke. He is interested in a variety of mediums from video games to professional wrestling, but he saw his first film when he was a week old and has loved it ever since.






Ana Hoppert

Class of 2023

Ana is majoring in English and Comparative Literature and Communications with a concentration in Media Production. She is the Treasurer of the Carolina Film Association, a student organization dedicated to engaging students with film-making and helping them develop their cinematic craft. As an explorer of and participant in the art of digital and audiovisual storytelling, Ana is interested in creating and examining narratives that educate, transport, and remind us of our shared humanity, and in ensuring that these stories are accessible to and representative of all.


Prakash Kadiri 

Prakash graduated in 2017 as an English and Comparative Literature major, with a minor in Writing for the Screen and Stage. He is currently a Third Year Law Student at UNC. As an undergraduate, he founded the Carolina Film Association so that students could work on films in an extracurricular capacity. He also wrote, directed, and produced a 50-minute narrative film, Waves, shot entirely on 16mm film stock as his undergraduate Honors Thesis. The film premiered at the Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street and the Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, NC. The film’s poster hangs up on the second floor of the Graham Memorial on campus alongside a description of the production process. He is currently attending law school at UNC. He writes: “In a world inundated with images, the power to understand and analyze what all forms of media intend is not only helpful, but essential. The exercise of watching movies and engaging actively with them developed my critical thinking skills and nurtured a creative perspective that encouraged free-form associations. Although I initially pursued a career in filmmaking, I chose instead to pursue a legal career, where my background and skill set have proven to be not only unique but crucial. The understanding of narrative and presentation is relevant in any industry. In the legal field, the difference between a lawyer who merely makes his case and a lawyer who can craft a story for the jury is remarkable. In my experience, the jury has always sided with the latter.”


Yuma Kobayashi

Yuma, class of 2019, was a double major in English and Comparative Literature (Film Studies Concentration) and Psychology B.S. He cooks as much as he watches film. He is a practicing screenwriter in search of a film production job in the wake of the coronavirus; however, job or no job, films abound in this era of streaming, so no matter how bleak times look, that’s comfort enough to stay optimistic. I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to volunteer at Sundance, coordinate the student symposium at Film Fest 919, work alongside students in filmmaking projects, and contribute everything I could to growing the Film Studies program. All I have in leaving is excitement for the future of film and its study at UNC.


Jake Lawler

Jake, class of 2020, earned numerous academic accolades as a college athlete and created various media programs, from multimedia nonprofit UNCUT to film and culture podcast Inside the Film Room, during his time at UNC. Jake leaves Chapel Hill with a degree in broadcast journalism. The former Tar Heel linebacker moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a screenwriter in the entertainment industry. He has written a few short films, one of which finished shooting in Charlotte in July 2020, and a few television pilots. He hopes to tell a wide range of stories for a wide range of people. 





Josh Martin

Josh, class of 2021, is a founding editor of Aspect. He is a professional film critic and an English and Comparative Literature major with a concentration in Film Studies. Communication Studies is his second major. Josh has written reviews and film-related editorials for Film Inquiry, Inside the Film Room, and Martin on Movies. As a film critic, he has covered Chapel Hill’s annual Film Fest 919 for two years. Since 2018, Josh has been a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association, an organization of professional critics located in North Carolina. Josh’s research focuses on contemporary international cinema, particularly the intersection of spectatorship, time-based theories of film, and concepts of authorship and genre. His honors thesis addresses “slow cinema,” an international mode in which the spectator’s experience of duration is prioritized through an engagement with radical slowness. Josh plans to pursue his scholarly interests in graduate school. 

Noah Maynard

Noah is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Noah has been obsessed with film ever since he purged his dad’s Blu-ray collection and watched There Will Be Blood at 13 years old. At 16, he wrote and directed a short film at a UNCSA summer intensive, which activated his filmmaking dreams. Noah was accepted into UNC’s renowned Writing for The Screen and Stage Minor, and wrote several screenplays and plays through that program. It’s Your Move is Noah’s first directing project in a while. It was made through the Carolina Film Association, UNC’s premier student filmmaking organization. At CFA’s student showcase, It’s Your Move was nominated for ten awards and won six, including Best Picture. Noah made a lot of close friends through the project, and can’t wait to collaborate with them in LA someday.


Macy Meyer

Macy, class of 2021, is a founding editor of Aspect. She is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies. She is also a reporting major in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, with an interest in sports writing. Macy began as an editor for the PIT Journal and has been a contributing writer to both local and national magazines, including WAKE Living and Variance magazine. Macy has also been writing for The Daily Tar Heel since her sophomore year and is now a Senior Writer on the Sports Desk. Macy’s film research is focused on experimental and avant-garde cinema with a particular interest in non-Western and female-authored films. She is currently writing a honors thesis that critically examines surrealist documentaries, particularly exploring the way surrealism works in anthropological and foreign documentaries. 


Felix Murithi

Felix graduated in 2017 with a major in Psychology and minor in Comparative Literature. He writes, “To pay close attention to the world right now is to invite into your mind a distinct feeling that the world rests on a precarious knife-edge between the unaddressed errors of our past and the future catastrophes to which these errors may still lead. I believe that if we are to avoid ‘the fire next time’ of which James Baldwin wrote so eloquently, we must be willing to observe the world, ourselves, and each other with an unyielding combination of courage, lucidity, and compassion. The possibility of seeing the world in an enriched way is precisely what the study of cinema offers. My film courses at UNC taught me to develop a method and a philosophy by which I could begin to observe the world not only for what it was in all its tragedy, but for all the beautiful things it might yet become. In a certain sense, the rest of my life is devoted to the application of this knowledge through a commitment to serving others.” After graduating, Felix earned an MA in International Relations from the Geneva campus of Webster University. He then worked for the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is currently attending medical school at the University of Geneva. 


Ben Newport-Foster

Ben, class of 2023, is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Ben moved to North Carolina from the United Kingdom in 2015 and chose to return to college as a mature student to further his passion for literature. He is deeply interested in the relationship between individual and cultural memory and how film and literature work to influence both.




Dylan O’Connor

Dylan graduated from UNC in 2020 with a double major in Mathematics and the Film Studies concentration in English and Comparative Literature. He also minored in French. He was the president of the Chapel Hill Film Society student organization. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mathematics at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York.






Carly Peck

Class of 2023, Carly majored in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies. She played Division I volleyball for the university, where she achieved numerous athletic and academic accolades. During her time at UNC, she has taken courses in film history and film theory. Her work spans from short films to music videos. With a passion for storytelling and a deep interest in film, Carly has explored the world of cinema through various lenses. Looking towards the future, Carly aspires to pursue a career in filmmaking, with a particular interest in editing and directing. Holding a deep appreciation for the power of cinema to move and inspire audiences, Carly is excited to continue exploring the world of film and bring her own creative vision to the screen.



Miguel Penabella 

Miguel graduated with a double major in English and Comparative Literature, and Communication Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015 before embarking on his current MA/PhD program in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research deploys the specter as a theoretical framework for examining historical revisionism and questions of national cinema in the Philippines.



Carissa Roets

Carissa was born and raised in South Africa, and moved with her family to the United States in 2015. She graduated with distinction and highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2019, after spending the summer studying abroad. She currently works as a copywriter and content marketing specialist for All American Entertainment, an international speakers bureau based in Durham. 


Brian Rosenzweig

Brian, class of 2023, is a newly-minted UNC alum who studied journalism and creative writing during his time at Carolina. Brian is a lover of a good memoir, a fierce Fleetwood Mac devotee, and a dedicated TRU patron. He can often be seen around town on his green bike that was recently described by a mechanic as “in quite dire shape,” or, against his landlord’s wishes, sitting on top of his roof. He may never come down.





Hayley Sigmon

Hayley, class of 2019, was a major in English and Comparative Literature, Film Studies Concentration. Her short film, Phoenix, swept the major awards at last year’s CFA showcase (check it out here). Hayley says: “Studying film at UNC gave me the critical knowledge of film theory that has influenced the way I make my own films. I am currently working towards my MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage at Northwestern University. I am also at work on writing, directing, and producing my own short films independently. I hope to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career as a writer/director.”




Julia Stamey

Julia, class of 2021, is a Double Major in Communication (focus in Media Production) and English/Comparative Literature (focus in Film Studies). She is also a minor in Anthropology, although when asked she normally just refers to herself as a “film major,” as she is a firm believer that her film education at Carolina would not have been complete without the dual background in production and theory. She loved serving as the President of the Carolina Film Association during her time as a full time student at UNC, and can still be spotted on multiple CFA sets. Now, having finished all of her graduation credits, she is taking the spring semester off to work on multiple film projects including Fix, a feature-length musical (check out for more info) and save up money for her summer move to LA with the Hollywood Internship Program offered through the Communication Department! was born and raised in South Africa, and moved with her family to the United States in 2015. She graduated with distinction and highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2019, after spending the summer studying abroad. She currently works as a copywriter and content marketing specialist for All American Entertainment, an international speakers bureau based in Durham. 


Andrew Tomei

Andrew is a class of 2023 UNC alum and Phi Beta Kappa inductee. He majored in English and minored in Global Cinema. A lifelong cinephile, Andrew credits the many film classes he took at UNC with broadening his personal tastes, as well as teaching him how to think and write critically about film. Over his four years at UNC, he has watched, discussed, and written about films from a variety of genres, time periods, and countries. He is particularly interested in the blending of genres in film, questions of authorship and originality (particularly for films based on pre-existing fictional media or real-life events), and film’s ability to engage its audience morally and psychologically through audiovisual elements.



Ben Van Welzen

Class of 2023

Ben is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with a concentration in Film Studies as well as Mathematics. He is also the president of the student organization Chapel Hill Film Society where he hosts screenings of classic, foreign, and independent cinema to other UNC students. Ben takes interest in film preservation and restoration, maintaining a collection of physical copies of global cinema. After graduation Ben plans to pursue a PhD in math with an interest in professorship.




Ryan Wilcox

Ryan, class of 2021, is an English and history double major with concentrations in Film Studies and American history, respectively. He was the sports editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and hopes to continue writing about sports, popular culture and the intersection of the two. Upon graduation he plans to pursue a master’s degree in journalism.





Claude Wilson

Claude is a UNC Alumnus who graduated in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in History with Honors, and minors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Medieval and Early Modern Studies. He is currently taking a gap year and applying to law schools in the fall, with plans to work in public interest advocacy.







Lili Zay 

Lili graduated from UNC in May 2020 as a Morehead-Cain scholar with degrees in Philosophy and Comparative Literature. Her Comparative Literature path focused on film and image theory. She took classes on cinema history; philosophy and film; 20th century theory on photography, film, and Modernism; and genre-focused classes. While photography and amateur filmmaking remain vibrant passions, her primary focus is on environmental work. She has interned with marine conservation and climate change mitigation organizations in Fiji, Micronesia, and Palau, and has also worked on local farms and ranches in past years. She plans to pursue a career that allows her to coordinate her amphibious environmental interests while also incorporating her love of photography and film. She believes especially in the power of images to galvanize protection and celebration of the natural world. Lili loves hiking with her dog, reading and writing voraciously, diving with sharks, and living mindfully.