Get Ready for The Spotlight Awards 2023


The Los Angeles Film School will host its 4th annual Spotlight Awards ceremony honoring the new members of the Spotlight Academy Class of 2023. This year’s award show will be a LIVE, in-person celebration at Ivar Theatre in Hollywood. Stay tuned for updates on special guest appearances from entertainment industry leaders and exclusive chats with the inductees during the show. 

The vibes will be 💯… Come see it for yourself!

The school is hosting a series of interactive events for on-campus and online students and alumni leading up to the Spotlight Awards. Participants get exclusive access to industry expert panels, live gear demos, prize giveaways and much more during Spotlight Week! The entire event runs from Monday, June 26 through Thursday, June 29, 2023, culminating in the Spotlight Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening. 

On behalf of The Los Angeles Film School Spotlight Committee, we are proud to share this experience with the new class of inductees who have achieved notable success in the entertainment industry. Learn more about our alumni and their achievements. 

Introducing the 2023 Spotlight Academy Class

The Spotlight Academy – Est. 2019

The Spotlight Academy pays tribute to the heart, the creative and the dedicated among The Los Angeles Film School’s alumni. Each year, Academy Inductees are honored for their unyielding commitment to excellence in their professional career and selfless contribution of time and connection to our students and community. It is with great privilege we shine a spotlight on these inspirational and exceptional individuals.

Jeff Barnes, President of Record Plant Studios

Jeff Barnes Record Plant

Recording Arts Graduate 2008

A serendipitous encounter with a Mix Magazine advertisement led to Barnes applying to The Los Angeles Recording School, a division of The L.A. Film School. The cover of that particular Mix Magazine issue also happened to be of Record Plant Studios, which is the studio where Barnes would later start as a runner and then ultimately get promoted to studio president. Barnes’s path to president includes some interesting twists and turns. He stuck with the studio for over 15 years as it went through ownership changes and organizational shifts. That professional commitment paid off when Barnes was announced as president of Record Plant in 2018.

Paquita Hughes, Independent Producer and Location Manager

Paquita Hughes

Film Graduate 2014

Raised in rural Mississippi with a fascination for movies, Paquita Hughes was determined to make a mark in Hollywood, which eventually led her to The Los Angeles Film School. As a dual branch Military Veteran, Hughes was awarded for combating the global war on terrorism and defending Iraqi Freedom while serving in the U.S. Navy as an Air Traffic Controller. That character-building experience helped Hughes later in her professional career as an award-winning locations manager and independent producer. Hughes has worked with big networks including HBO, Hulu and ABC, and has over 50 productions under her belt. She’s landed on the sets of Perry MasonLittle Fires Everywhere and most recently wrote and produced her most recent short film, Jeremy.

Phillip Bladh, CAS. Oscar®-Winning Production Sound Mixer

Phillip Bladh

Recording Arts Graduate 2008

Phillip Bladh is an Oscar-winning production sound mixer who is most known for his work on Sound of Metal starring Riz Ahmed as a drummer who has hearing loss. As a music lover at heart, He graduated from The Los Angeles Recording School in 2008 and began full-time sound mixing a year later. It took Bladh 12 years from starting to work as a production sound mixer in the entertainment industry until winning his first Oscar in 2021. He is also the recipient of the BAFTA, CAS, and AMPS award for best live-action sound mixing. Phillip Bladh is the first-ever alumnus known to personally win an Oscar®

Samantha Wilkins, Art Outsource Supervisor

Samantha Wilkins

Computer Animation Graduate 2012

Samantha Wilkins’ modeling and texturing work and asset-leading roles include a broad range of impressive credits from commercials to video games. Her artistic talents have been used in many projects including the Audi Driverless Super Bowl ad campaign, Nike Want It All ad campaign and the first six Apex Legends season opening trailers. Her responsibilities and talent transitioned seamlessly from VFX to video games as she joined Riot Games as an Art Outsource Supervisor for VALORANT, the now top trending FPS tactical hero shooter game.