Vancouver Film School (VFS) graduates Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell have been honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for their District 9 script. In addition to the nomination, District 9 also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Visual Effects.

“All of us here at Vancouver Film School are extremely excited and proud of Terri,” says Michael Baser, head of the VFS Writing for Film & Television Program, from which Tatchell graduated. “To say that her time with us in the Writing for Film & Television program was well-spent would be one of the great understatements of all time.”

More than 40 alumni from VFS worked on District 9 in addition to Blomkamp, who directed the film as well as being its co-writer, and Tatchell. Many of the alumni worked on the visual effects team, including visual effects executive producer Shawn Walsh. Vancouver’s Image Engine worked on many of the visual effects shots.

“I remember sitting in class [at VFS], fantasizing about getting a script actually realized on the screen,” says Tatchell. “When District 9 came about and I was lucky enough to have a feature-length script made—and in my opinion, made well—I didn’t think it could get any better than that. I certainly didn’t even dare to think Oscar nominations! I don’t think I’ve missed a single Oscars since I was seven years old, and to be actually attending as a nominee this year is ridiculous. I couldn’t feel luckier!”

District 9 had unexpected success at the box office in 2009; it was produced for less than $40 million and earned more than $200 million worldwide. The film received seven BAFTA nominations, a Golden Globe nomination for Blomkamp and Tatchell’s screenplay and three Visual Effects Society Award nominations.

To find out more about the connection between Vancouver Film School and District 9, visit