Meet Seth Lochhead

When Vancouver Film School graduate Seth Lochhead began the one-year Writing for Film & Television program, he set his sights on one thing alone: "I'm going to write a script and sell it." Six years after graduating, he was in New York at the red carpet premiere of Hanna, a screenplay he first wrote at VFS.

Seth's final student project has evolved into a monumental achievement, earning high-profile accolades around the world and securing his future as one of Hollywood’s in-demand screenwriters.

The concept for Hanna was born at VFS when Seth began mapping out the story for his final project. He clearly saw the first scene: a teenage girl hunting a reindeer with a bow and arrow. That image continued to grow into the screenplay that would make Hollywood buzz with anticipation.
Over 6 years, rumors circulated about the project’s development. Both Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) were said to be interested in directing. In the end, it was Joe Wright (Atonement) who would helm the film.
- May 2004: Seth enters the Writing for Film & Television program at VFS.
- He begins developing Hanna as a final project under the guidance of Instructor Brian Casilio.
Seth graduates and continues working on the screenplay with former VFS Instructor, Rick Drew.
After emailing 400 producers, agents, and managers, Seth is signed by management company Circle of Confusion.
Hanna makes it onto the 2006 Black List — Hollywood's annual listing of the most-liked, unproduced scripts.
-Seth sells Hanna to Focus Features.
-Saoirse Ronan signs on to star, piquing director Joe Wright's interest in the project's potential.

Cate Blanchett Eric Bana Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana are cast.

Production begins in:
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Morroco
Hanna is released around the world.

About the Film

Hanna is a 16-year-old girl who lives with her ex-CIA agent father in a snowy forest in Finland. Though trained to be a young killing machine, Hanna’s father neglects to teach her about the wider world: electricity, music, and boys.

A fast-paced chase thriller that spans western Europe, Hanna defies action film conventions and signals the arrival of a talented new storyteller in screenwriter Seth Lochhead.

“It was the most terrifying script I had ever read in my life.“ Cate Blanchett

“The script reminded me of… nothing; I thought, ‘I haven’t seen this film before.’" Eric Bana

“It was always about the script for me, do I socialize and build my career that way, or do I write a really f—-ing great script and base my career on that? I said, ‘OK, I have faith in my script.’ "“ Seth Lochhead

“With Hanna, Seth had written a character of mythic quality. She is a stranger in a strange land – namely, our world. I was intrigued by the human connections she would make.” Leslie Holleran, producer (Chocolat )

“I always had a plan. When I decided to go to VFS I said to myself…. ’I’m going to write a script and sell it.” Seth Lochhead

“David Lynch is a hero of mine; I first saw Eraserhead and Blue Velvet as a teenager, and they blew my mind. So his twisted fairy tales were a big influence. In Hanna, I finally had the opportunity to play around; there was no room in my other movies for more surreal storytelling.” Joe Wright

“I really loved the script. I thought it was pretty unique and really well written. And, dare we say it, an original screenplay.” Eric Bana

Seth Lochhead's spare script sets up a heroine's quest, complete with a literal fairytale ending. Fists, sticks and arrows serve as primary weaponry, banishing the usual "locked and loaded" firepower to the sidelines. And the villainy just keeps coming. - Hugh Hart, Wired
"An exuberantly crafted chase thriller that pulses with energy from its adrenaline-pumping first minutes to its muted bang of a finish." Justin Chang, Variety
"A furious neck-snapping thriller that summons up memories of a dozen other movies and manages to improve on most of them." - Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
(via Rotten Tomatoes)
"Hanna" is the bad-ass girl-power movie "Sucker Punch" wanted to be — or at least should have wanted to be — and the thriller that Angelina Jolie's "Salt" only was at times. - Christy Lemire
Associated Press
"Hanna certainly is a wild ride – driven by a script by first-time Canadian screenwriter Seth Lochhead that doesn't sacrifice smarts for speed." - Eli Glasner, CBC
"… as Hanna confronts her past, the movie becomes like nothing you've ever seen. I'd call it a knockout." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“Hanna” is kinetic, vibrant, sometimes a completely insane adventure; one of the best times you’ll have at the movies this year. -Richard Roeper
(via Rotten Tomatoes)
Nothing in Hanna is lazy or dumb; when compared to the last 10 years' worth of action films, it feels like a goddamn revolution. - Paul Constant, The Stranger (Seattle)

Tweets About HANNA

Olivia Wilde oliviawilde: ooo go see "Hanna". it's good. great acting and super awesome score by the Chemical Brothers

Stuntnova stuntnova: @oliviawilde throw props to Seth Lochhead for the Hanna script- the guy is genius! He is on twitter too.

Alliance Films AllianceFilms: Did You Know That #Hanna Was Written By A #Vancouver Film School Student As A Final Project?

MrsKutcher Demi Moore mrskutcher: If you haven't yet go see Hanna.
Amazing film!

SMLochhead SMLochhead: So cool seeing HANNA with a sold out audience. They laughed in the right moments, were quiet in the right moments. They clapped at the end.

Jiangghomeshi Jiang Ghomeshi (CBC): If you've not seen the film Hanna yet, do it. Super-thriller with dose of surrealism. Saoirse Ronan is a gem. I'll refund if u hate it.

eTalkCTV eTalkCTV: New movie 'Hanna' has local connection #Vancouverschool project turns into action flick 'Hanna'

HUChronicle HUChronicle: Student Film 'Hanna' hits the big screen with a bang – The Hofstra Chronicle – Arts & Entertainment

Christian Plante ChristianPlante: Hanna is fantastic, probably one of the most layered and textured movies I've ever seen. Music, ambience, lighting, even film stock.

EyelineImagery EyelineImagery: Cool Hanna was conceived by British Columbia-born Seth Lochhead as his final project while at Vancouver Film School

Adapt or Die


The Writing for Film & Television program at Vancouver Film School is the single most intense year you'll experience as a writer. You will come face to face with the industry, day after grueling day. You'll test your ability to write captivating scripts for film and television, transforming yourself from someone who likes to write into someone who lives to write.

Why? Because that's the only way you'll make it as a writer in today's industry. VFS Writing alumni work in film, television, online media, and games, and include Academy Award nominee Terri Tatchell (District 9).

Want to learn more about Writing for Film & Television at VFS? Speak to an Advisor

Other Notable Writing Alumni

Company of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Company of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Ryan Galleta - Additional Dialogue
Amazon Falls

Amazon Falls

Curry Hitchborn - Writer


Alyssa Ciccarelli - Writer
Miguel Valdez-Lopez - Writer
District 9

District 9

Terri Tatchell - Co-Writer

Want to learn more about Writing for Film & Television at VFS?

Speak to an Advisor