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Central to HATCH is cultivating the next generation of creative leaders.

Each year HATCH selects up to 10 “Groundbreakers” who have shown exceptional talent and dedication to their work.

Submissions have been received from nearly 100 countries, and these high-potential innovators have come from as far as Pakistan, Singapore, Australia, the UK, Uzbekistan, and across the US. Never has there been a more important time for our world to nurture these talents. Their stories transcend careers and commerce, and are centered on world evolution and how we solve substantial global problems and create new opportunities by inspiring and fostering a voice for the thought leaders who will lead us into the future.

So far, HATCH has sponsored more than 100 Groundbreakers and has impacted over 5,000 students directly.



Director, “Children of the Air”

Li Lu is a Los Angeles based director and producer. She was born in Suzhou, China and moved to the United States at the age of five. Daughter of two physicists, Li discovered her passion in prose. This quickly transitioned into a visual medium through photography, then ultimately into filmmaking. Raised on all three coasts and graduating high school in Sugar Land, TX, Li graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts with a concentration on writing and directing.

Her short films Autumn and Before the Flood have played numerous film festivals around the world such as New York’s Anthology Film Archives, Global Chinese University Film Festival in Hong Kong, and indieVIXENS at SXSW. Her music video work has been shown on networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV Asia, and Channel V. Her latest video has surpassed one million views on YouTube. Her producing credits include documentaries, narrative shorts, music videos for artists such as Mastodon and Young Man, and commercials for clients such as Mary Kay, Gilt Groupe, and Coca Cola.


Director, Writer, “Waking Up”

Yuta Okamura is a young filmmaker who was born and raised in Japan.  He now lives and works in Los Angeles.  At the age of the 3, Yuta saw Godzilla for the first time, and became fascinated with the magic of cinema. Without access to a camera, he began painting his own one-frame monster movies, which later developed into more visual storytelling through filmmaking.  After graduating high school in Japan, he moved to the United States to study film production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, earning his BA degree in December 2011. Yuta has written, directed, and photographed dozens of short films, documentaries, music videos, and TV commercials, both in Japan and in the United States.


Director/ Co-writer, “Josephine and the Roach”

Jonathan Langager is a filmmaker, animator, visual artist, composer, musician, and alum of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. After studying piano, violin and composition at Carleton College, he worked in politics and film for several years in New York City before moving to L.A. At USC, he has directed numerous short films, using the medium to explore his passion for music and visual design. For his work on “Josephine and the Roach,” he was nominated for the Princess Grace Award and received a grant from the Charles and Lucille King Foundation. The film received the ASC Student Heritage Award for cinematography. He has brutally slain hundreds of cockroaches, but now feels remorseful and ready to make amends.


Music Groundbreaker

A singer and songwriter from the Great Lakes State, Brion Riborn grew up with a young heart, an old soul, and a guitar. Both thoughtful and reckless, his music has been described as John Mayer meets Tom Petty with a dash of Nirvana. He’s played everywhere from arenas to house-shows to funerals to coffeehouses, and he likes it that way.

To him, every moment is the most important moment. As he puts it, “Whether there be one person or one-thousand people, it’s all about that moment and that time.” You can sense this at his live shows in the way he interacts with his fans, both during and after the performance. In December 2007, he released the 5 song EP “Etymbiosis”. The following year, he started work on a seasonal album that was released as a series of digital singles.

Throughout 2009, Riborn worked on the independent film “Annabelle & Bear”. Much of his music is featured on the soundtrack and throughout the film, which debuted in Detroit in February 2010 and continued on the film festival circuit throughout the year. Riborn recently finished up his latest release, “Mediocrity is an Adequate Lover” which, will doubtfully live down to its name. Both retro and modern in sound, the album can be streamed live at his website and is available online in most every way imaginable.


Music Groundbreaker

John was raised at the base of the mountains bordering Missoula, MT. His father bought him his first drum when he was two years old. Inspired by his father and artists like Duane Allman, Jerry Garcia, and Jimmy Hendrix, John started playing guitar at 12 years old, filling notebook after notebook with songs. When he was 17, he met another guitar player and songwriter and they starting playing and writing music together, calling themselves “Smitty and The Boss”. Later, a bass player and percussionist that played Eastern Indian Tabla drums arrived, and the band “CottonWood Draw” was formed.

With their unique original material, and danceable live performances, they developed quite a following, opening for bands like Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles and Darkstar Orchestra. Yet in time, John decided it was time to leave the band and focus on his solo project. He had been studying traditional West African drumming with master Djembe players such as Dibo Camera, Abdoul Doumbia, and Mamady Keita. “The influence on my music was extraordinary,” says the 26-year-old musician. “Their ancient rhythms infused my brain and opened my mind to an entire new world of music.”

Seeking new sounds and means to expand his songwriting, John started playing slide guitar and experimenting with open tunings, which eventually lead to the discovery of his new love for lap steel, dobro, and weissenborn slide guitar. This March, he put together a tour in Australia and played from Melbourne, Victoria to Sidney, New South Wales. Throughout his journey John was fortunate enough to spend time with artists like Harry Manx, Jeff Lang, John Butler, and Xavier Rudd. Talking with them about music and their journeys brought so much inspiration and was truly a needed part of his journey.

“My purpose is to sing and share the connection with the people. So many hardships and troubles we all see through our lives, and we must strive to keep positive and follow our dreams amongst the chaos”.  With his debut album on the road to completion, John was ready to broaden the project and invite the energy of other musicians along for the journey. In summer 2012, “The John Adam Smith Band” was born, their first album set to release late this November. John is in love with this chance to share his words with the wonderful folks that take the time to listen.



After a year on the festival circuit, Scher’s “Maiden and the Princess” has played over 50 festivals in the US and abroad. The film garnered several more awards, post-HATCH, including the 2012 USC Faculty Award for Best Director and Winner at the 2012 LA FirstGlance Festival. In September, the film will show at the first ever Etheria Film Festival—a celebration of female filmmakers in the sci-fi and fantasy genre. Scher appeared in a spotlight on Disarray Magazine in May and is really excited about adapting a book set in 13th century Italy into a screenplay, with Maiden co-writer, Joe Swanson. She’s also co-creator of a new web series, set to launch in November, called “Candyland”, a comedy: Lying, cheating, seduction, betrayal…preschool ain’t so sweet anymore. ascherthing@gmail.com



Courtney’s Yovich is a singer/songwriter from Bozeman, Montana who released her first album “Waiting to be Told”, in July 2012 and has already won several songwriting awards (the first at age 8), including a Top 20 finish in last year’s CMT/NSAI Song Contest. Since appearing at HATCH in 2011, Courtney continues to create and impress with her mature voice and musical motivation. I Am Entertainment magazine says of her debut album, “If she keeps this up, she’ll be one of the most successful music artists in the business.”

Music videos for the title track and “Happy To Be Here” were shot in July, just in time for Courtney to wrap up her summer and start thinking about her senior year in high school. Courtney is slated for a second appearance at the prestigious Pensacola Beach Songwriter’s Festival in October and also to play at the Frank Brown Festival on the Gulf Coast in November. In 2013, she’s been booked through Live on Stage to tour as a trio with CJ Watson and Genesis Green. If her recent sold-out debut at Nashville’s world-famous “Bluebird Café” is any indication, you might want to get your tickets early.



Leif Christian gets his distinctive sound from a variety of backgrounds, but always stays true to the origins of blues, rock, folk, and soul. Classical piano at a young age ignited his passion for music, and he began playing guitar at age 16. A variety of influences and ideas infused with his own originality and sound create a unique listening experience, innovative and forward thinking, while still paying tribute to the masters and real rockers of the past. An appearance on the Trail 103.3’s Live and Local Lunch in January of 2012 revealed a continuation of Leif’s trajectory as a groundbreaking musician.

With fellow musician, Willard, Christian founded The Montana Musicians and Artists Coalition, (MMAC) a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the music and art scene across Montana. The organization provides a network for collaboration and promotion of musicians and artists by coordinating local events and concerts and facilitating recording projects. MMAC brought the “Musicians Showcase” to the Missoula bar, Brooks and Browns; a weekly event that brings together Montana musicians from a variety of genre and provides a venue to reach new audiences and work with other musicians. The event produced a Showcase Sampler album—intended to be first in a series. MMAC also sponsors local music competitions to promote aspiring musicians. Meanwhile, Christian continues to pursue his own music and announced two album projects and a rock single release early in 2012.



Last year’s Groundbreaking HATCH musician hasn’t let any grass grow under his feet. With renewed focus on his musical goals, Aaron continues his prolific songwriting, while playing a variety of shows and shooting videos in Chicago, Seattle, Arizona and his beloved Bozeman, MT. Recent projects include a video collaboration with vocalist Maddie Kelly, while he continues to play favorite gigs like the Bozeman Bogert Farmer’s Market. Aaron’s recent blog, “Elephants”, reveals more insight on his commitment to creating positive change through art.

The fight with things I assume I can’t do, will continue indefinitely. That’s how I want to live… at least right now. I want my life to stay new and scary… I want to take the riskier road… I want the future to feel as uncertain and exotic as it did before I had ever settled into anything. I’m going after these obsolete limitations with everything I’ve got. I’m going to find them…one by one…And take them down.



Micheal Spencer continues to dedicate his talents to the iterative process of strategically and artistically re-thinking the built environment with a unique global perspective on the environmental, economic, and social implications of design. As the owner of Studio Re, Design and Development, Inc. and as a product designer and business developer at Habihut LLC, he is forwarding his goal of providing innovative refugee and disaster relief housing and infrastructure solutions in East Africa and around the world.

In January, Spencer and project partner, David Fortin, presented “Bales, Taters and Farm-actecture”, to PechuKucha participants in Bozeman, MT, in order to cultivate awareness around this component of his work. To provide contextual balance, Spencer also continues to work in the first-world environment of Montana, specifically as part of the winning design team dedicated to erecting a World Cup caliber ice climbing structure in Bozeman, that will serve as a national training facility and international competition venue, as well as provide a community recreation area and event center.



Marcus Stokes started his filmmaking career as a visual effects artist at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). After several years creating effects for films such as Star Wars Episode I, The Matrix II & III, and I Robot, Marcus began his career in directing. He joined the Director’s Guild of America after completing a national commercial campaign for General Motors and quickly transitioned into narrative filmmaking. His first film, entitled “The Catalyst”, was a critical success at film festivals and was subsequently acquired by HBO. In addition to his film projects, Marcus has also worked on documentaries, music videos, and even the NAACP Image Awards. Marcus’ talent, that which won him the best editing award for his film, “Chains”, is still turning heads, most recently with his commercial for Scion. Look for his latest sci-fi thriller, “Echo”.


(Film) HEAL – Best Cinematography

Adnan is an award-winning filmmaker from Pakistan whose work has screened in Asia, Europe and North America, including in the First Cut Showcase held at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) headquarters in Los Angeles and New York. He started making films at the age of eleven and has since pursued his passion professionally, through numerous projects in television, short film, documentaries and consulting for various organizations. Adnan was a finalist in a screenwriting competition held by the Royal Commonwealth Society and received the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a graduate program in film production in the U.S, where he also received the Leo Freedman Award for his work.

“Heal”, the film that won Ahmad an award in Best Cinematography at HATCH 2010, has garnered numerous accolades internationally, receiving more than 20 awards, including the prestigious Frank Capra Award (Fallbrook 2011), the Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award (Cleveland 2010), the Outstanding Filmmaker Award (Overall (Directing) and also the Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Film at last year’s Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. Ahmad continues to promote “Heal”, while working as a writer, director and producer at M.A.A.K. Pictures and as a juror at the Lums International Film Festivals. In July of this year, “Heal” was released exclusively online.



Sudden Death!, the film that brought Melanie and Adam Hall to HATCH 2010, has won more than 10 awards and has been nominated for more than 20. Since it’s premiere in August of 2010, it has played in more than 30 film festivals around the world. While adding their talents to various major motion pictures and other film productions, Adam and Melanie have founded Mildy Fearsome Films with Death! co-producer, Nick Jones. Their latest production “Research”, a web series, just premiered at the Gangrene Film Festival.


(Film) – PATROL

Originally from South Carolina, John worked as a television editor before earning an MFA from the prestigious American Film Institute, where he received the Franklin J. Schaffner Award for Directing, and was elected to speak at graduation alongside Clint Eastwood. Since leaving school, he has written and directed dozens of commercials and short films, including “PATROL”, which was selected for dramatic competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and featured at HATCH 2010. With a passion for fiercely human, empathetic stories, John believes the strongest work is born not just of great ideas, but great relationships with the client and the team. John continues to direct short films and commercials and also appeared in the short film, “Beautifully Esther”, directed by Ricardo Korda in 2011.



Since Hatch 2010, Mike Bernstein has worked actively in LA, directing commercials for clients such as Walgreens, Netflix, AT&T, Johnson and Johnson, Oakley and numerous others. One of his latest, for Zumiez, appears on “Vimeo”. In August, Bernstein and Mu Sun visited with Poptent, in Philadelphia, while scouting an upcoming production.



Dean Dyson currently resides in Melbourne, Australia, where he continues to pursue and develop his architectural interests, in both conceptual studies and built works. In 2011, his entry “The Renaissance Tower of Brisbane” won the Brisbane Ideas Competition and forwarded his vision of making architecture far more recognizable, approachable and understandable. The project recognized that in a world where natural resources are being stretched to the limits of human consumption the value of food and water becomes ever more important in world sustainability.

In order to create ecological change, first our cities must change. Through transformative and adaptive design, a semi-active Brisbane River shoreline landscape is revolutionized into a living working landscape capable of reinventing the city of Brisbane for a future as ‘The Australian hub of sustainability.’ Subsequently, Sucker Punch Daily published the project and SPIN Magazine featured Dyson as an emerging talent in architecture.



Since appearing at HATCH in 2009, Ryan has had a career all over the film industry ranging from writer and producer for “Braceros”, actor for “The Book of Tomorrow”, and director/producer/writer/actor for “Family Pieces” in 2009. Ryan also worked as the Assistant Director for the Emmy Award Winning film “Point of View: A Dogumentary” in 2007. Currently, he freelances as a writer with companies such as Big Boss Creative and Disney/Pixar.


(Film) – POP Foul

Moon Molson graduated from Dartmouth College where he won the Eleanor Frost Experimental Theatre Prize and two Alexander Laing Memorial Screenwriting Awards. After college, Moon worked in the New York City film industry until 2000, when he entered the M.F.A. program in Film Directing at Columbia University. In summer 2002, he won the prestigious Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Student Internship and was flown to Los Angeles to work in television commercials. Moon’s short Pop Foul, which showed at HATCH 2009, has screened at over 100 international film festivals and has won more than 30 festival awards, worldwide.

Molson participated in the 2008 Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab to cultivate his feature-length script Meadowlandz, from which the short “Crazy Beats Strong Every Time” was eventually adapted. That film was selected for over 40 film festivals and won 9 awards. Moon went on from there to produce and edit Jennifer Phang’s short film, “Advantageous”, which has played at several festivals this year. Moon currently works as a teaching artist at The Hisiger Foundation in New York, teaching fiction narrative filmmaking to Westchester area high school students and has been selected as a finalist for the ABC & DGA Directing Program 2012-2014.



Since appearing in “Desert Wedding”, a 2009 HATCH selection, Dayna Schaaf has continued to add to her list of acting accomplishments with a number of commercial and theatrical appearances. She also produced the short film, “Modern Romance”, the story of a lonely door-to-door salesman, who, upon getting syphilis, meets the girl of his dreams.


(Film) – Cupid

Producing graduate Trinni Franke dedicated her time at The Australian Film Television & Radio School (Sydney, NSW, Australia) to developing the art of dramatic storytelling. She left film school having truly cultivated skills in producing and screen writing and has since embraced a wide range of genuinely innovative projects. Trinni produced, “Cupid” which played at the 2009 HATCH and won Best Fiction Film Comedy at WOW Film Festival and WOW National Tour in 2011. Trinni continues to create film with the aim of reaching people with stories from the heart. In addition, she works as a social media specialist for The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and lectures in interactive writing at the Centennial College in Toronto. She still finds time to develop a feature screenplay and befriend neighborhood raccoons on her rooftop deck.


(Film) – She’s a Fox

Writer/director/actor Cameron Sawyer grew up in Orem, Utah, a small city located at the base of Sundance ski resort. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University (2002), and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing (2009) from Chapman University (Orange, CA). Along with appearing in the 2009 HATCH, Sawyer’s film, “She’s a Fox”, played at over 40 film festivals worldwide and gleaned 9 awards. Sawyer has produced and acted in a number of short comedies, and is currently developing the feature-length high school comedy, “Edmund, Stay away from Talia, or I’ll Break Your Legs”. He lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.


(Film) – Kavi

Oscar Nominee and Student Academy Award winner, Gregg Helvey, has traveled the world to film in countries such as Rwanda, El Salvador, China and Kenya on projects ranging from National Geographic and BBC1 documentaries to independent fictional films. As a filmmaker, Helvey seeks to combine his passion for social justice with powerful storytelling. This was recognized when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) invited Gregg to become a lifetime member of the Academy. He currently votes for all Oscar categories, serves on the selection committee for the Oscars’ Foreign Language Film Award category, and is also an Executive Committee member for the Student Academy Awards.

Helvey wrote, directed and produced “Kavi” which showed at the 2009 HATCH and became a 2010 Oscar-nominated short film that also won the 2009 Student Academy Award; gold medal in the narrative category. Helvey’s other award-winning work includes the documentary, “Overexposed”, which examines how pornography affects men. Helvey received his M.F.A in film production from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, and his B.A. in both English and French from the University of Virginia. He is currently developing a variety of projects for production in Asia, India, and the US, among other locations.


(Film) – Desert Wedding

Born in Paris, France to Swedish-Australian parents, Alexandra was raised in Zurich, Switzerland. She holds an undergraduate degree in drama from the University of Bristol (United Kingdom), an MFA in film directing from UCLA, and speaks five languages. Alexandra has written and directed several commercials, corporate films and four short films. Her work has screened at festivals around the world and won numerous awards, including 1st Place at the Student Emmys for her short film “Parthenabe”.

Her thesis film “Desert Wedding” which showed at HATCH 2009, won an honorable mention from the DGA for best student film directed by a woman, the CINE Award of Excellence and the Audience Impact Award at the Angelus Student Film Festival. Alexandra’s script All That Remains garnered a grant from the Swiss Ministry of Culture (Bundesamt für Kultur – BAK), and most recently, her corporate film “Moment of Truth” was awarded a Swiss Gold Edi, Gold at the 2011 New York Festivals, and a silver Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards.

Alexandra is the recipient of the Motion Picture Association of America Award, the James Pendleton Foundation Prize, the Wasserman Scholarship, the Paulson Scholarship, and a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. She is currently writing and directing commercials and corporate films, while working on her first feature, “The Secret of Magic”. She’s also working on a children’s documentary about the internationally acclaimed Circus Knie.


(Film) – Cupid – Australian FTRS

Cupid continued to glean attention after HATCH, debuting in Asia at the Short Shorts Film Festival—a qualifying festival for the Academy Awards as well as an official selection at the Cleveland International Film Festival.


(Film) – Frog, Chemical, Water, You

A dual citizen of the USA and Ireland, in 2003 Jen became the first Irish snowboarder to compete on the World Cup Tour and at three world championships. She has an MFA in science and natural history filmmaking from Montana State University. As a student director/producer, she won an unprecedented collection of national awards including a first place college television award from the Emmy Foundation, Lunafest, Best Newcomer at the International Wildlife Film Festival, and Best non-broadcast at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

“Frog, Chemical, Water, You”, which played at HATCH is on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC. Recently she has been producing live performances for renowned music producer, Patrick Leonard. Last year she produced the original multi-media contemporary ballet called “The First Day” with Patrick Leonard, Jessica Leonard and the Montana Ballet Company. She also produced the music showcase for HATCH 2011. Her latest film, “Soul Dog”, is in post-production and explores the changing roles of dogs in America, through the lens of a four-year-long degenerative paralysis of her soul dog, Juno.



At age 16, Stephanie Quayle embarked on a musical exploration that found her fronting her first band in Switzerland, a long way from the Rocky Mountains she called home. Performing in Europe furthered her resolve to chase down her musical dream and let nothing stand in her way. In 2009, after a personal tragedy that shook her to the core, she realized that her music career had to mean more. She wanted to empower others through her story of inner strength, endurance and survival.

She turned the tragedy into a symbolic moment in life and an ultimate triumph that led to the recording of her single, then album, “Ain’t No Housewife”; an invitation to perform at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference in front of thousands of guests; and the start of Stephanie’s humanitarian efforts with non‐profit organizations. From her work with veterans and their families, to the mentoring of young girls and women in songwriting and esteem building workshops, Stephanie is determined to be a voice of empathy, joy and laughter.

In the years since her appearance at HATCH, Stephanie relentlessly pursues her musical and humanitarian goals. Aside from serial performances at the Sundance Film Festival, she performs at a wide range of venues, including numerous benefits and fundraisers that support women’s shelters, military families and those afflicted with chronic illness. Stephanie also continues to record honest songs that continue to engage her growing audience. Stephanie is now based in Nashville and recently played at the CMA Music Festival.


(Film) –Easier with Practice

Kyle Patrick Alvarez is a Los Angeles-based writer/director. Alvarez graduated cum laude from the University of Miami in 2005 with degrees in motion picture production and English literature. He spent his first year in the entertainment industry working directly for legendary director and actor Warren Beatty. His writing and directorial debut “Easier with Practice”, which showed at HATCH 2008, has won numerous awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Cinevegas and Best New International Feature at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

The film played in more than 40 film festivals around the world and subsequently received theatrical and DVD distribution. In 2010, Alvarez was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and won the prestigious Someone to Watch Award. Alvarez is currently in the process of financing his next feature, C.O.G., which will be the first film made out of a David Sedaris essay. Production is scheduled to commence in October of this year.


(Film) – FOUR

For her film “62 Sleeps”, Erin White directed, produced, wrote, edited and managed the sound design, which would take the VFF Young Talent Award in Munich International Festival of Film Schools in 2005, and the Award for Australian Short Film in the Sydney Film Festival in 2005. She also directed “Dugong” and “Four”, two other short films that would each be nominated at the Australian Film Institute in 2007 and 2008.

Four won the IF Award for best short film in 2008 and won the Flickerfest Audience Award in 2009. Erin moved on to direct for TV, with the two episodes for the show Rush and then a TV movie “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better”. Recent projects include directing “At Home with Julia”, an Australian TV series on ABC and Quail Television.



In 2007 Alex Lamb received an Eddie Award from the American Cinema Editors, for his work done while attending Chapman University. Alex, directed, wrote, produced, edited, and even did the visual effects on his breakthrough “Somewhere Over the Flagpole: A Nintendo Movie”. Since attending HATCH and moving to LA in 2008, Alex has been creating music videos, commercials, and promotional materials for some of the music industry’s top artists and producers.

Lamb has earned international acclaim as well as his very own Eddie from the prestigious A.C.E. He’s produced material for Weezer, The Refused, Frank Turner, Argyle Smile, Honeypie, Moonshine and the Drugs and the artist Inch Chua. He was also the editor for “American Sinner”, “Gold” (Dark Clouds Gather), and most recently for “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”, in 2011.

With a passion for creative story-telling and a determination to discover new ways to promote through entertainment, Alex has developed a unique style that encompasses the quirky innocence of Argyle Smile’s Every Song video and the biting sarcastic tone of Mel Greenwood. Eager to explore and excited to take new chances, he continues to live, shoot, and edit in Los Angeles, CA.



Andrew Mailliard’s short film, “The Early Nineties” showed at 7 festivals, including HATCH 2008, and won 5 awards.


(Film) – BEAN

Giovanna Federico is from the small beach community of Half Moon Bay, California. She earned her B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing at S.U.N.Y. Purchase, New York. After college, Giovanna traveled to Jacksonville, Florida, where she was an English teacher at PACE Center for Girls, a school for young women who have social and emotional issues. Giovanna’s experience at PACE changed her life and artistic perspective.

Giovanna graduated from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts with an M.F.A. in Film Production. Her thesis film “Bean”, won the Best Director Award at the school’s Cecil Awards and screened at HATCH 2008 and the Starz Denver Film Festival. She believes in giving back as an artist and has continued to work with underprivileged kids in South Central and Long Beach, teaching writing and video production.


(Film) – The Last Page

Kevin Acevedo was born and raised in Glendora, California. In 2008, he received a MFA in Film Production with an emphasis in Directing from Chapman University. He wrote and directed the short film: THE LAST PAGE, which was an official selection in over seventy-five film festivals worldwide. Since attending HATCHfest as a Groundbreaker, Kevin has worked in all areas of production. Currently, he splits his time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas working on television shows. He recently signed a contract to direct for the Berlin-based ad agency, Admerica.


(Film) – PLASTIC

Born to Indonesian parents, Sandy Widyanata is a German filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia. Sandy studied at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, where she made her short film “Plastic”, which played at HATCH in 2008. Plastic enjoyed great international success. In 2009 Sandy received a Visual Effects Society Award in the student category, which was introduced and presented by Steven Spielberg.

She was nominated for an Australian Film Institute Award and won an Australian Effects and Animation Award in 2010. Recently her latest film “Project M.I.C.K ” (‘War Robot’ TVC) won 2nd prize for the Cannes Lions Young Director Award. With a strong background in animation and visual effects, Sandy loves to combine authentic and truthful performances with visually surreal images that help bring imagination and dreams to life.



Based out of Montana, The Clintons continue to play at multiple venues and produce original, comedic and socially relevant music. Their latest album, “Sellout”, was 100% fan funded. It took only 30 days to raise nearly $22, 000 on their Kickstarter project towards the recording of the new CD and the filming of the album’s first music video. The Clintons continue to seduce new fans on their YouTube channel and were recently the featured artist on Montana PBS’ 11th and Grant stage.



Mahesh’s films have been shown all over the world and garnered awards including hte SKYY Vodka Short Film. From Los Angeles, Mahesh, graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of Arts and continued on to become a directing fellow at the American FIlm Institue, recieving a Master’s of Fine Arts. He was awarded the Franklin J. Scaffner Fellow award for his thesis film “Still Life”, and is currently working on films under his own production company Nuclear Tribe.



Graduating in 1998 as a Film major, Amy has gone on to win awards for both drama and documentary as a writer, director, and cinematographyuer. She has received Best Direction in an Australian Short film at the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival in 2007, the same year she finisehed her Masters in Directing at AFTRS. Since then she has continued to win awards at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2007 and 2008 for Best Documentary Short Film. She also won Best College Short and Best Narrative Short in 2009 at the Nashville Film Festival.



Director of such short films as “The Sunday Man”, “Life According to Ellie B”, and “Polly”, Danielle is more then just director. For “Polly” she was the director, writer, producer, and even a composer, to add to her list of eccletic talents. In 2007 she won the jury prize at the Sacremento Film festival , and also won the Platnium award at World Fest Houston for the film, “The Sunday Man”.



In 2007 was named “25 New Faces of Indepedent Film”. Sine then he has been very busy writing for “Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Come Wander with Me”, and 6 episodes of the TV show “Bright Falls”, which he also directed in 2010. The winner of the 2007 HATCH groundbreaker award for his film “High Maintenace”. His films have also won the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, and the BIFF award at the Boulder International Film Festival for his film High Maintenance” in 2007. The film “Dunny” swept the First Run Festival winning Best Ensemble Cast, Best Screenplay, and Best Screenwriting in 2006.


(Film) – BITCH

After showing her short film “‘Bitch” at Hatch, went on to win awards for Special Jury Award at Florida Film Festival, and the Audience and Festival Award at the Columbia University Film Festival in 2006. She was the editor for “Voices in the Wind” in 2006 and “The Hardest Part” in 2010.



Screened his first festival achieving short film “Another Man’s Shoes” at Hatch 2007. Soon after, he began working with Chisel Industries and went out to make a short documentary for The Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, which would receive the Annenberg Foundation’s Explore Award and helped increase donations to the foundation by over $250,000 that year. He has since gone on to direct branded content for P&G, Dannon, Nestle, and most recently the 2012 Olympic Games.



A triple threat, Preston directed, edited, and wrote his short “The Big Production”, he has since dabbled more in the sound department working on the film “The Macabre World of Lavender Williams” and “Going With Grandma for Her Prunes”.



Ben’s short films, CHECKPOINT (2006) and NICE SHOOTIN’ COWBOY (2008), have garnered over 20 awards and been selected for Official Competition in over 100 prestigious international festivals, including 40 Academy Awards accredited festivals. Highlights include major prizes in Australia, USA, Canada, France, Italy, Spain and Russia, plus selection in the final 80 films eligible for the 2011 Oscars after winning Best Short Film at Austin Film Festival.

Awards include the Jury Prize – Montreal World Film Festival, Dendy CRC Prize – Sydney Film Festival, Best International Short Film – Cleveland International Film Festival, Gold Award – WorldFest Houston International Film Festival (USA) and Best Short Film – Strasbourg International Film Festival (France). Ben has a feature screenplay in development, THE HITMAN’S COOKBOOK.



After her short film “RoundTrip”, Lindsay has had a full career in film working on feature films in the Art and Editorial Department. In 2007, she worked as a art department intern on the hollywood hit “3:10 to Yuma”, in 2009 she became the art department assisantat for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. Lindsay also worked as an editor on the original live action “Transformers” and the movie “Hancock”, with Will Smith.



Debbie Formoso’s short films have screened at several international film festivals including Tribeca and the Los Angeles film festivals. Upon graduation, LMU awarded her a Sony TAG (Transition after Graduation) Fellowship, as well as the Ian Conner Cinematography Award. She was also awarded a Project:Involve fellowship with Film Independent in 2005.

Nagpapanggap won Best Short Film at the Hawaiian International Film Festival, Outstanding Screenwriting at HATCHFest, and Best Screenplay at LMU’s “Film Outside the Frame” Student Film Festival. She has since shot multiple documentaries and short films that have played the festival circuit. She is currently completing her third short film, Owen and Owen, featuring Nick Wechsler (Revenge, Roswell, Fling), and also produces and directs television and web commercials.



Winner of the 2007 Gibson Guitar New Musician Award, Los Angeles based songwriter/singer, has been busy playing with her band the Unsung Hereos. For her work on “Let o” she won Honorable mentions for four of the album’s tracks by Billboard’s World Song Contest. The Guitarist, violinist, and singer, was asked to have her music on the VH1 “Save the Music” compilation.



Maia has had a busy couple of years since her showing of “Loveproof” at Hatch in 2006. She has gone onto direct “The Sellers” as a short film and TV movie, most recently she directed the short “Love Untiled” in 2011. Horniak has also worked as an editor, producer, and Assistant Director for “Introducting the Dwights in 2007.



In 2006 the album “Heaven’s Grey” was released, followed by “The Road to Antoch” and “The Pilgrim Sessions” in 2007.



Phil passionately constructs story’s that provoke, challenge, and inspire. He seeks to make a difference in the way people think and perceive the world. “We have this unbelievable gift of being able to reach so many people on an intimate level, in their homes while they sit on their couch, but what will we tell them? Teach them?”

Phil began his career rather unusually, walking on to the set of an indy-feature in his hometown in Vermont at the age of 13. In 2006 Phil won the Hatch journalism groundbreaker award. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is actively pursuing a career as a Director & DP. He has had work featured on National Geographic, CBS, CNBC, PBS, NBC Sports, Versus and countless other new media platforms. His recent projects include a first ever film shot entirely at 35,000 feet for Virgin Airlines; and an interactive game for Nat Geo and Xbox Kinect that allows kids learn and interact with wildlife as they watch TV.

When not exploring new ways of inspiring the frame, he can be found seeking insight from the outdoors; discovering new lines to ski in the backcountry, climbing in the Tetons, surfing, or just curiously exploring the world around him.

In 2007, while still in school, Phil and fellow Hatch filmmaker Zach Osterhout found themselves traveling to the jungles of Belize to produce a privately funded tourism campaign for computer mogul John McAfee. An adventure that was only made possible through networking at Hatch, where catching gators with award winning Director Ang Lee, filming from ultralite trikes (think Kite with motor), and diving on secluded reefs became the norm.

Though still in the infancy of his career, Phil continues to return to Hatch each year to inspire younger filmmakers to get out and tell stories with meaning, to change the world simply by teaching others how great it really is.




Since winning the award for Outstanding Score at HATCHfest 2005 with his thesis film “Perils in Nude Modeling”, Scott Rice has been working constantly on his film career. He is now looking towards his first feature “My Monster” a $4million children’s movie, which he will start filming this winter. Scott has just completed another short project, which he wrote and directed, called “Script Cops,” a parody of “Cops” about police officers who arrest writers for bad screenwriting. Scott continues to make T.V. commercials and has worked with Sears, Shell, Merry Maids, The Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Film Festival in the last year.

He has won several commercial directing awards, including a golden Addy. He is currently adapting a novel for the screen called “One Fat Summer” by Robert Lipsyte for Sixth Street Films. Scott is in development on several features he’s attached to direct including “Buffalo Speedway,” a comedy about pizza boys and he has signed with commercial production company Giant Pictures, a subsidiary of Capital Sports and Entertainment which reps Lance Armstrong. Scott is now teaching at the University of Texas at Austin where he is encouraged and supported by the institution to work on independent projects.



This is a film about the unspoken rules of friendship. After leaving his best friend stranded on the scene of their crime, teenager Gavin struggles with the guilt of his actions and desperately tries to regain his mate’s trust.



A young lever-pulling factory worker finds reason to escape the tedious daily routine of industrial manual labor after meeting a bright-eyed young lady who works at the factory across the street. After deciding to make his move, he is faced with the task of tremendous complexity as he tries to disguise his identity, fool both factories, and avoid the watchful eyes of the building officials to get closer to the one girl he could love.


(Film) – MAREE


James Pellerito won the Moonlight Basin Award for Outstanding filmmaker and the outstanding screenplay award at HATCHfest 2005. His short film “Maree” (“Tides”) tells the story of a penniless Albanian man who decides to abandon his son in Venice rather than watch him grow up in extreme poverty. Shot on location in Venice, in Albanian and Italian with English subtitles, “Maree” has affected and influenced audiences around the globe. So far, the film has screened at over 100 festivals and has picked up 28 awards.

Born in Vicenza , Italy, James lived there with his family until he moved to New York to attend Columbia University at the age of eighteen. Both of James’ parents are American. He grew up in a bilingual household, speaking both English and Italian. He now divides his time between the U.S. and Italy. Since HATCHfest last year, James has been very busy working on his film career. This month he returned from Torino, Italy where he is co-directing/producing a feature film documentary dealing with corruption at the Olympics.

He has just finished post-production on another short that he wrote and directed called “Extras”, a comedy about background talent in which the only thing that matters is what happens in the frame. James is also working on another short called “Ballboy”, the story of a 40-year-old lawyer who has been a ballboy at the US Tennis Open for 25 years.


(Film) – TAHARA

TAHARA depicts the harsh reality of female genital mutilation on the psyche of Amina who must decide if she will submit to family pressure to circumcise daughter. As Amina recalls her own TAHARA will she find the courage to abandon this age old practice or will she submit her daughter to the same horrifying fate?


(Film) – “Chasing Daylight”


At HATCHfest 2005, Jeff met mentor Charlie Ebersol. Since then he and Charlie have kept up a correspondence, the outcome being that Jeff has been attached to work on Charlie’s next film, “The Man in the Woods.” Having just finished a short for Canadian T.V. station Bravo called “Just Visiting,” Jeff is working on a feature doc for Bravo called “Hamlet: to be or not” starring Raoul Bhaneja, the star of “Just Visiting.” Raoul has been performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as a one-man act all over Canada and the film will follow him through performances and interviews with other actors such as Christopher Plummer and John Neville. Jeff continues to work on music videos and has been attached to work on two other features in the next two years from the makers of “Chicken Little” and “Brother Bear.”



Travelle, a young thief, is pursued by the police through the alleys and backyards of South Central L.A. He sees an open window in a house and crawls inside to hide. There he finds Miss Jenny, an elderly white woman dying of cancer and the home health aide who is supposed to care for her, but instead, physically and emotionally abuses the old woman. He ties up the aide and unexpectedly finds himself being the caregiver. As he prepares to leave the next morning when the “coast is clear,” Miss Jenny asks him a favor – to kill her.



Bernard Brady is a lonely computer programmer at MicroCorp in Seattle. One day, after an office friend shows Bernard a particular website, he is flung back into a world of suppressed obsessions that originated in childhood. Finding an outlet for these fixations through the internet, he discovers a new fetish that ultimately proves to be a little more appealing, but by no means more tasteful.


(Film) “DANYA”


Since HATCHfest 2005 Beth has been very busy. Her poignant and achingly beautiful film “Danya” that screened at HATCHfest 2005 is just finishing its festival run after picking up 21 awards on the international circuit. Beth was honored to present “Danya” at the G’day LA week at Paramount Studios week where it screened alongside the premier of “Look Both Ways”. She has recently returned from India where she shot a series of 60 second commercials for tourism India to air on CNN worldwide.

She is writing a childrens T.V. drama for Australian T.V. Her first feature is in development and she is working on getting a development fund grant from the government to help with the next stage of the project. Beth continues to direct commercials and is attached to work on another feature with a similar theme to her HATCHfest winning film “Danya.”



SMART CARD is a tale of a utopian future where every aspect of your life integrates into one system. Convenience and simplicity is the product and Smart Corporation does the packaging. Robert Sharpe has been living this care free life. Everything is perfect, until he encounters a philosophical vagrant at a local fueling station who steals the one item you can not do without, his “SMART CARD.”



Since her apperance at HATCH in 2005, Webster has released two albums “Something in the Water” and “My Name is Christine” in 2007. Currently she is touring with Nina Gerber, through Oregon, California, and Washington. Her music has been as “magic (that) derives from those ineffable qualities of vocal grain, emotional nuance, timing and phrasing possed by the truly great and moving singers of any style” by the San Fransisco Bay Examiner.



Todd Jeffery, whose short film SHOOTER garnished the Moonlight Basin Grand Prize at HATCHfest 2004, defined his experience as “The mentorship certainly went beyond the festival. HATCH opened doors to the industry.” As a result of combined efforts, HBO recently picked up SHOOTER to air this fall.



In 2004, Sharat won best short film at San Diego Film Festival for “Indepedent lens:. That same year “Indepedent Lens also garnered other awards at the Aspen Shortsfest, Tribeca Film Festival, USA Film Festival, Hapmtons International Film Festival and the Savannah Film and Video Festival.. “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Afternath” took the audeince award in 2007 at the Los Angeles Indian Film Festival, since then Shartat has been working as a director/writer/producer for the short “Worker Drone” in 2011.



Worked on “Heckle U”,as a costume designer and as the Art Director for “Call of the Wild” in 2009. Caitlin also worked on the films “A Fork in the Road” in 2010, and the TV series “Eaten Alive” in 2009.



Sorrel worked as a publicist for “Coffee Diva” in 2007, a short film about the trials a famous CoDiva has getting her Skim Macchiato.



After working on “Pictures on the Wall”, Adam worked on “Outpost” and “Through Walls” in 2004. His latest film was a short called “Rocket to Danger”, which he produced, wrote, directed, and edited.



Received the 2004 Gibson Acoustic Guitar New Music Award, and came back to perform at her song “Time Has Made A Fool Of Me” at Hatch in 2008.