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Senior's film earns praise in local newspaper

University of North Georgia student John "Johnny" Phillips, center, speaks to an actor about the scene in his film "The King." In the background and behind the camera is Jason Winn, a part-time faculty member of the Department of Communication, Media & Journalism at UNG. Phillips wrote and directed the film, and Winn collaborated on the project.

University of North Georgia (UNG) student John "Johnny" Phillips filmed several projects for class, but he wanted to challenge himself. So he did.

The senior pursuing a degree in film and digital media with a concentration in production embarked on writing and directing a 30-minute movie. Jason Winn, a part-time faculty member of the Department of Communication, Media & Journalism at UNG, collaborated on the project.

"As an artist and educator, my job is to work with students directly," Winn said. "I love making films. I love watching and working with young filmmakers and helping them grow into artist they want to be." The film was released Aug. 7 on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Vimeo and gained some local recognition.

Phillips' film "The King" was deemed a short film to watch in a review in the Newnan Times-Herald. Jonathan W. Hickman described "The King" as "an ambitious psychological horror film."

"What works best here are the scary creatures … in the film's second half," he wrote.

Phillips said the review was an "awesome surprise."

"My intention was to create something unique in the world of young filmmakers," the 23-year-old from Gainesville, Georgia. "For a newspaper to review it, it made me feel accomplished and proud of the people who worked on it with me. We were recognized by people other than those in college or fellow students."

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