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