Alumni Success Stories

The story of TheFilmSchool is the story of its students. Graduates of our intensive three-week program are making significant progress in the film community. Click on the links below to find out what they’ve been up to.

Academic Achievents

  • Heather Hughes was in the top 3 percent for the Academy Awards Nicholls fellowship and has been awarded a residency at Hedgebrook.
  • Amie Barrodale was accepted to the Iowa Writers Workshop with a Maytag fellowship.
  • Livia Notoharjono was accepted into the USC Graduate School (they accept only 8 out of 500 applicants).


  • Prodigy Camp graduate Nick Robinson starred alongside Alison Brie and Nick Offerman in The Kings of Summer, which showed at Sundance and SIFF in 2013.


Award-Winning Alumni

  • Persephone Vandegrift became a finalist in Wildsound’s First Scene Screenplay Contest for her screenplay Death of a Mortal Woman and finished second in her category in the Sarasota TVME contest for her treatment of a historical documentary called Women of the American Revolution.
  • At the Action on Film Festival in 2012, Jessika Satori won four awards: Winner, WITHOUT A BOX Best Script and Winner, Best Music Production; Runner Up; Best Dialogue and Best Dramatic Short Script.
  • Kristi L. Simkins’ short film, SOMETHING SPECIAL,  won Best Narrative Short at the Rainier Independent Film Festival.


  • George Thomas Jr. wrapped up two competitive internships doing industry coverage for production companies in L.A.
  • Programming Director (and founder) Eric Morgret wrapped the 3rd Maelstrom International Fantastical Film Festival and is preparing for many more years to come.

Festival Showings

  • Shawn Telford’s feature film BFE will be at the Champs Elysees Film Festival as a part of US in Progress.
  • John Henry Summerour’s wrote and directed the short film CHICKAMAUGA, which screened at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in 2012.
  • Sam Graydon had a short in SIFF Fly Films in 2012.  Sam also had two short films screen at SIFF in 2012: PRETTY FACE, which he wrote and directed andBUNKER, on which he served as Director of Photography.  He also wrote and directed the the short JENNY starring Gary Busey in 2011.
    Kevin Klar made the 35th anniversary Seattle International Film Festival’s celebratory short film with director Rick Stevenson.
  • The BAFTA award winning female duo Bert & Bertie, who attended TheFilmSchool in the Spring of 2010, directed the London-based Intandem’s latest feature, LUCIDITY.  Their film, THE TAXIDERMIST screened at SIFF in 2012.
  • Heather Hughes and Kate Wharton were writers for the SIFF Fly Films.

Screenwriter, Directors and Producers

  • Jeff Leisawitz just completed his short film as a writer, director, and producer!MYSTIC COFFEE is about a wise and magical barista who offers advice along with her beverages.
  • Sue Corcoran’s feature GORY GORY HALLELUJAH is also available at major retailers and was recently picked up for international distribution.
  • Deb Matthews was in pre-production on a short called DOWN THE DEBT, a fun way of looking at a great idea to drastically reduce the national debt – and all without Congress raising taxes.
  • Winda Benedetti’s screenplays SUNDOWN and FIST have been optioned by Lockspring Pictures.
  • Lisa Halpern has optioned a screenplay to Lockspring Productions.


  • Jessika Satori (Alum Summer 2007) Jessika launched a slate of new classes for directors, actors, and producers. Check out her website at At the Poppy Jasper Film Festival in Morgan Hill, CA, Jessika interviewed Hollywood composer Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th) and an actors workshop.
  • Elena Hartwell led three workshops at the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference, applying dramatic techniques to fiction. She also led the workshop “Write Dialogue Like a Playwright” with the Unicorn Writers Conference in MA.