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Avni wears her cap and gown and stands on a bench in the arboretum

Recent graduate Avni Singh is taking the movie she created at Carolina on tour this year with the film production company she started with fellow Tar Heels. 

Singh, who is originally from Austin, Texas, has had a passion for filmmaking since childhood. She came into UNC as an economics major but continued to explore production classes “just for fun.” 

It led to her second major and eventual career. 

As a first-year, Singh cold-emailed Sophie Sartain, a UNC alumna and film producer, to ask about her Netflix documentary, “Seeing Allred.” That email led to a dream internship at Sophie’s company, Katahdin Productions. 

“The experience gave me the courage to take the jump and really pursue [my craft] as a career,” Singh said. 

At UNC, Singh also produced her own film, “Sticky Feet Movie,” a “comedy and coming-of-age short film about four college kids throwing a 21st birthday party after COVID restrictions lifted.”  

Singh’s favorite class at Carolina, “Cultural Politics of Global Media Economies,” served as a connector between her movie and her coursework.  

Taught by Michael Palm, associate professor in the department of communication, the graduate-level class allowed her to use her own film to research production decisions and the power balance –– or imbalance –– between producers and their audience. 

That work also led her to an independent study funded by the Morehead-Cain Foundation. 

“The work I did in this independent study formed the foundation of a business plan for Sticky Feet Productions –– my film production startup.” 

Singh’s production company is co-founded with fellow Tar Heels Shelby Armstrong, who starred in “Sticky Feet Movie,” and Lila Roberts, who did graphic design and photography for the production. 

As she begins her tour of the movie across East Coast university campuses, Singh is reminded of her favorite UNC memory: Selling out the film’s premiere at The Varsity on Franklin Street. 

“[It] was one of the best nights of my life,” she said, adding that it gave her the confidence “to pursue my dreams.” 

By Jess Abel ’19

Tar Heels of the Week are nominated by professors in their department. Follow us on Instagram to explore more College Up Close.