Most people know that Richmond is a place where our students receive individual attention from faculty and staff who are eager to help them achieve their goals, whatever they may be. What’s more remarkable is how often those relationships end up resulting in friendship and lifelong mentorship that extend well beyond four years.

Ryan Frost, ’05, is a great example. He majored in history, and returns to Richmond this fall to screen his debut film, September Morning, at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown. UR’s Department of Film Studies is hosting the screening.

How he got to this achievement is a story that began his first year in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and continued with taking an introductory film studies class with professor Peter Lurie.

At the time, UR’s film studies major wasn’t yet added, but that didn’t stop Frost from pursuing his interest in the work with Lurie, who encouraged Frost to continue pursuing and refining his narrative. He rented a camera from Boatwright and made a short film senior year. Twelve years and four script drafts later, he’s debuting his first film.

September Morning was inspired by Frost’s earliest days on campus in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. He turned his own personal reflections into a film exploring perspectives of his friends and memories of that day. After finishing graduate school in filmmaking, he’s worked tirelessly to both fund and bring his creative vision — which includes some uniquely UR cultural perspectives — to life.

“Ryan really knows the campus culture,” Lurie said. “This film will resonate especially with UR students, but also a much broader audience.”

Since graduating from Richmond, he’s come back to campus at least twice to work with other faculty members eager to support the project, whether through organizing staged readings like history professor emeritus Hugh West or providing the filmmaker with critical feedback like English professor Monika Siebert and John Gordon, the retired chair of the history department.

“Coming back to Richmond to do this reading was really important to me, and we had a great experience there,” Frost said. “I felt like when I was there it meant something to the people who did see it. Now I’m trying to take the good momentum and turn it into something.”

Congrats on hitting the big screen, Ryan! We’re proud of what you’ve achieved and how hard you’ve worked to make it happen.

(Note: Frost is distributing September Morning through Candy Factory Films and the movie is slated for a limited theatrical release to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. For more information, visit

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