2016 Scholarship Recipient: Leo Pfeifer

Film has the power to tell stories that simply help their audience understand: understand a person, place, culture, feeling, emotion, issue, or anything else. … when a film shows you the life, the struggles, and the challenges of others, it can completely change your views on that subject. And it does that all by simply telling you a story.

JDogg Film Scholarship is proud to announce Leo Pfeifer, a graduate of Ballard High School, as the 2016 scholarship recipient. Leo’s films have received six Awards of Excellence at the Northwest Emmys, nine Official Selections at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, and over 200,000 views online. Leo will attend Point Park University’s Cinema Production program starting in the fall of 2016.

Leo’s work includes narrative, music video, and advertising, but his biggest interest is documentary. He likes the power of the stories that documentaries are capable of telling, and their ability to examine something real. His documentary “Clipped Wings” tells the stories of those most affected by the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay members. It gained a wide audience online, was featured by news and advocacy organizations, and played at festivals.

What his teachers say:

“Leo has elevated the climate and learning of every class he’s been in.  He enjoys other students and he listens to them.  Although he always brings his own ideas to the table, on multiple occasions I’ve seen him listen for the best ideas in the room and support them.  He’s one of those rare students equally adept at the social, collaborative elements of filmmaking as the technical elements.  He never fails to master the technical skills necessary to realize his creative ideas.”
~ Matt Lawrence, Video Production Teacher
Ballard High School

Leo personally enjoys filmmaking because of the incredible places it's taken him and the people it's allowed him to meet. In 2014, he was hired to make a film for the organization GeoFORCE Alaska. It followed one of their trips across the United States as they taught rural Alaskan youth about geology. Leo hopes to build a career on work like this, as well as creating his own films.

A sampling of Leo’s films:
Clipped Wings
Air Pressure
Leo’s Vimeo page

2015 Scholarship Recipient: Bogui Adjorlolo

“For me, the point of filmmaking is to tell stories that relate to people on a deeper level than pure entertainment. I live and breathe filmmaking. It is not simply a hobby, but a passion of mine that keeps me up at night, and ignites a fire within me that only grows with each passing day.”

Bogui Adjorlorlo, a graduate of Shorecrest High School, was the 2015 JDogg scholarship recipient. Bogui has completed his first year at University of Southern California’s film school.  During his freshman year at USC, Bogui won two awards at USC for his video Snooze, and the WaveMaker grand jury award at SIFF for his short film Sable Mire.

“His enthusiasm for cinema is extraordinary. … I’m proud to say he’s shown dedication to the craft of filmmaking and a constant pursuit to explore and experiment in picture and sound. He’s one of the brightest and hardest working students currently enrolled at USC, without question”.
~James Savoca, Professor, Directing, USC

During his high school career, Bogui received seven Northwest High School Film Festival Awards. In 2015 his film, Goldfish, was an Official Selection of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. Bogui will attend the University of Southern California’s film program starting in the fall of 2015.  

What his teachers say:  
“Bogui is, without a doubt, the most talented video student I've ever had the pleasure to teach at Shorecrest. Most students excel at one part of the video making process. However, Bogui excels at writing, directing, acting, and editing. … Bogui is team leader and helps to pull other students up to his level. Bogui’s storytelling ability, technical knowledge, and calm demeanor are just a few of the many assets that will help him become an excellent producer and director. His body of work speaks for itself, but he is also a caring individual who keeps improving his craft without the need of outside motivation.”
-Trent Mitchell, Video Production Teacher
Shorecrest High School

Bogui’s work ranges from art film through dramatic narrative to documentary, and often grapples with subjects that challenge seasoned filmmakers.  His 2013 short film, 'Tennis Ball,’ tells the story of a young man reflecting on the loss of a close friend and finishes with the young man visiting his friend's gravesite at the cemetery. The story is powerful, emotional, and very mature in subject matter. The cinematography is gorgeous and the editing choices are spot on. In Sable Mire, a 2015 film, Bogui hired and directed professional and student actors to tell the story of a family that struggles to stay together after losing a loved one. To see Bogui’s earlier filmmaking efforts, go to youtube.com/mindcontrolfilms

2014 Scholarship Recipient: Raven Two Feathers

Film has made me the person I always wanted to be; confident, perseverant, and conscientious. It taught me how to convey my ideas, motivate people, and trust others that such a collaborative art form requires.  I went from rarely putting out ideas to friends, to pitching ideas to clients. Seeing myself accomplish feats that seemed only for those I thought of as betters has lifted my self-worth immensely.  Even better is seeing the relief and delight in friends after we all put 110% and sleepless nights into a film because we all love bringing stories to life and the journey that bonds us together while making the production happen.

Raven Two Feathers was a 2014 graduate of Ballard High School.

Raven has finished her second year at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where the connections and experiences of her freshman year have made campus and professional endeavors even more meaningful. 

On the production side, Raven has been able to work on several student and professional projects this year, including 1st AD on a senior thesis (Ladybug by Jamie Haug) Ladybug promo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNPPc3nggSg) and stage manager on the local production of the SFUAD Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadow Cast. Once again she was sound mixer/head of the sound department on set for principle production of "Karkutong," part of Shoot the Stars (a professional production run by student crews and starring A-list talent) (Karkutong trailer: https://vimeo.com/155257475).  Raven is currently expanding her short, “Little Beep of Revelations,” into a web series. This is a piece about a grim reaper who learns to love saving lives through her job of death and the corporate world.

While back in Seattle, she is interning with Tracy Rector, a local Indigenous media maker, and Three Dollar Bill Cinema, an LGBT+ film and media non-profit.  She is also working for the Seattle Public Schools Media Operations Center, who she interned for her senior year of high school."

At Ballard, Raven was president of the Future Filmmakers Club, and producer of Just Plane Lucky in the 2014 NFFTY 48-hour Film-Off, which placed second overall.  Raven has used her experiences of moving around the U.S. from the age of five to give her a fresh perspective of the world with the goal to tell stories that aren’t normally heard — stories about “the diversity that life has to offer.” In 2013 Raven, along with teens around the country, participated in the SuperFly Filmmaking Experience workshop where she told the story of the Suquamish Tribe in the Kitsap Peninsula. The film, Live to Remember, which she produced with other participants, screened at the Seattle International Film Festival and was added to the collection at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. 

2013 Scholarship Recipient: Vann Fulfs


Vann Fulfs,the 2013 JDogg scholarship winner, has become our first JDogg college graduate!  

“I'm happy to announce that I have graduated with high honors from Columbia College Chicago.  Your ability to take such a tragedy and transform it into something so positive is inspiring and deeply moving.  And has the power to change lives like mine.  My journey would not have been possible without your combined efforts, and I hope I can hold a candle to the bright flame of Justin's legacy."

Vann Fulfs was a 2013 graduate of Ballard High School, Justin’s high school alma mater. In 2016, Vann graduated from Columbia College of the Arts in Chicago, after busting it out to finish college in 3 years!  He is in the process of applying to assistant editing positions across Chicago and in New York and continues to create short films on the side.  “My future has never looked so bright and that is thanks to what you have all done”. 

Vann’s personal projects investigate the subcultures in the greater Chicago area, for example:
Free Street Theater: Underprivileged Youth Theater
22: Veterans Dealing with PTSD Nightrider: Exploring the Underground Drag-Racing Community

At Ballard High, Vann served as president of the Future Filmmakers Club and performed community outreach and fundraising for the school’s Video Production Program. His very first video, Leisure Biking, received an Award of Excellence in the News Feature category at the 2010 Northwest High School Film Festival. His dramatic/horror story, At First Sight, received an honorable mention at the same festival and was judged a Work of Merit at the Young People’s Film Festival. In 2012, Vann’s comedic digital short Love at First Bite received a Creative Self-Expression Award in the five-state regional festival Fresh Film Northwest for outstanding achievement in cinematic storytelling.

In the words of one of his teachers:
It’s rare for students to achieve festival recognition with their first productions, but that’s been the case with Vann. He has perseverance, dedication, and creativity. He’s productive working alone or with peers. Although he often emerges as the leader of his groups, he is not dominating and is equally comfortable as a leader or in a supporting role. His critical and creative mind is also apparent in his strong visual designs and media strategies. He is also one of those rare and rewarding students who return to projects after evaluation in an effort to do the best possible work.
~ Matt Lawrence, Video Production Teacher
Ballard High School

As the Ballard News-Tribune reported, Vann describes the announcement of his selection like this: “I actually think I started crying, to be honest…. It was very emotional for a lot of people in the room. It’s hard for me to express it … just being put to where Justin was, was a huge honor.”

The JDogg Scholarship Fund would like to thank photographer Jerry Gay and the Ballard News-Tribune (Ken Robinson, managing editor, Zachariah Bryan, writer). For more information about Vann and the scholarship, see Through scholarship, Ballard High film student helps carry on legacy.

"This would not have been possible without Justin & Blair & Craig… it is so touching to see tragedy & heartbreak transformed into such a poignant, moving tribute.  Blair & Craig - you are so beautiful, incredible, & inspirational.  I did not have the pleasure of meeting Justin; but with parents like you guiding him, I can totally see how he made such a huge, lasting impact on everyone he encountered!
This would not have been possible without ALL of you and your hard work and dedication!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you - to all of you and all the JDogg supporters & community!
I am so darn proud of Vann.  This is so very special & dear.
All my love & gratitude,
Holly (Mother of Vann)



2012 Scholarship Recipient: Sophie Mitchell

The scholarship committee is pleased to announce that Sophie Mitchell is the first recipient of the Justin Amorratanasuchad Scholarship. Sophie is a 2012 graduate of The Center School, a public high school is Seattle. In Sophie’s words:

Film has had an immense impact on how I view myself and how I view the world. I have developed skills that have provided me with the self-confidence I never had but always needed and has helped to further my voice in a whole new light…. Film has changed the way our society runs and film has truly impacted how we get our information.

In my opinion the biggest and most important issue in film making today is diversity. What I would love to help do is change the disproportionate system and allow people who never thought their dreams could come true, have the confidence to make them come true, like myself. I aspire to educate people not just by speaking and writing, but by inspiring people by the movies I someday will make and sharing my story…. Thank you for this amazing opportunity.

Sophie is the winner of The Center School’s 2011 Intermediate Film Student Award for Achievement and the NFFTY 48-Hour Film-Off Award. Her work received an Award of Excellence and an Honorable Mention at the 2012 Northwest High School Film Festival. Sophie is also a member of the National Honor Society. Some of her work:

Sophie will be using the scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year at Bournemouth University.