A story of love, loss, community and communion.
Project type: Narrative Feature
Project status: Development
Director/Writer: Hannah Peterson
Producer: Taylor Shung
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The Graduates is a narrative feature film that takes place in the aftermath of a school shooting. It follows the three individuals closest to one of the victims; his father, his best friend, and his girlfriend, as his class readies to graduate one year after his death.
Genevieve is a high school senior who struggles to push herself into the future as graduation fast approaches. While her best friends anchor her, she is still processing the loss of her high school sweetheart, Tyler, who was one of 12 victims lost in a school shooting. Genevieve can’t help but feel like everyone is moving on but her.
At a vigil held to commemorate the one year mark since the tragedy, Genevieve reunites with Ben, Tyler’s childhood friend who transferred to another school following the shooting. Genevieve’s buried emotions and grief begin to surface as she spends time with Ben, the person whom she went through the tragedy with most intimately.
Juan Pablo, Tyler’s father, stayed on as the basketball coach at Lewis. He searches for a sense of purpose now that his son’s class is graduating and the season is coming to an end.
Ultimately, the three of them find hope in the community that surrounds them and in each other. As Genevieve looks to life after high school, she has to ask: Who is she now? Who does she want to be?
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Meet the Filmmakers
Hannah Peterson — Director/Writer
Hannah is a film director living and working in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Film Directing at Caifornia Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and has worked closely with filmmakers Sean Baker and Chloé Zhao. Filmmaker Magazine named Hannah as one of 25 new faces of independent film in 2018. Her film, East of the River, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival 2019 where it won a jury honorable mention and Hannah was awarded the Russo brothers fellowship.
Taylor Shung — Producer
Taylor Shung is a producer born and raised in New York City. Her most recent film credits include Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (2020), Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney’s Strawberry Mansion (2021), and Annabelle Attanasio’s Mickey and the Bear (2019). Her short films have played at prestigious festivals around the world, notably Alexa Lim Haas’ Agua Viva, which won the 2018 SXSW Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize. She had her Broadway Debut as Video Producer for Ivo Van Hove’s revival of West Side Story. She is a 2019 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.
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