‘Regulars,’ directed by alumna Emma Kopkowski ’20, heads to RiverRun Film Festival

The film is part of a North Carolina shorts category and will be screened in person on Wednesday, May 12, and virtually on Thursday, May 13.

Regulars,” a documentary film produced by Emma Kopkowski ’20, will be screened during the upcoming RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem. The 13-minute project, which the alumna began filming in fall 2019, is one of 17 titles in the festival’s two categories dedicated to short documentaries produced in North Carolina.

Emma Kopkowski ’20

The film introduces audiences to the customers who frequent Jake’s, a 24-hour diner in Greensboro. One of Kopkowski’s main inspirations for the film was her time waiting tables at a Georgia breakfast restaurant similar to Jake’s. The Atlanta native said she is drawn to telling Southern stories, and is grateful to her work showcased in the festival. View a teaser trailer here.

“I love that RiverRun celebrates North Carolina filmmakers because there really is like so much, especially documentary-wise, that happens in North Carolina for filmmaking,” said Kopkowski, a Communications Fellow. “I think the South has a lot to say, so I’m all for anywhere that is celebrating Southern filmmakers.”

Nicole Triche, associate professor of cinema and television arts, served as Kopkowski’s BFA mentor, and she said Kopkowski’s outgoing personality helped capture the community that dines and socializes at Jake’s.

“The film is a beautiful time capsule of what life was like pre-COVID,” Triche said.

Having filmed before the pandemic hit the U.S., Kopkowski recalled the editing process was “bizarre” because she did the edits in quarantine.

“It was kind of surrea … cutting this footage of literally just strangers gathering in an indoor space, which was the No. 1 thing you couldn’t do at the time,” she said.

RiverRun will be hybrid this year with in-person and virtual viewing options, giving Kopowski and other filmmakers multiple chances to connect with audiences and viewers.

“Regulars” will screen during an in-person session on Wednesday, May 12, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. It will also be available virtually on Thursday, May 13.

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Triche said it is great to see Kopkowski’s success, especially on the big screen at RiverRun.

“I hope that she is able to make more connections with other filmmakers,” Triche said. “That this opportunity continues to grow her audience for her film.”

To view Kopkowski’s documentary film, visit RiverRun International Film Festival’s website to purchase tickets. For more information about Kopkowski’s other work, visit her website, www.emmakopkowski.com.