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 Pitt Grads Begin Turning Viral Short Film “Thanks to Her” into Feature-Length Film

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Author: Joshua Axelrod

“Some wondered when they would see Millie and Andy again, [and] those folks are about to get their wish, as Orlowski is starting on the feature-length version of “Thanks to Her.” It’s set to begin filming around Pittsburgh on July 20.”

Thanks to Her


Author: Lily Morg

“There is something so vulnerable and brutally honest about coming out through art, and Thanks to Her becomes the vector for a kind of representation that sparks hope — one that acts as a friendly, reassuring reminder that “it’s okay,” that out or not, there will always be someone to be the Andy to your Millie, someone who will love you for who you are.”


Coming of Age Story Filmed at JAA

The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle

Author: Justin Vellucci

“The goal of our event is to introduce the film to those who will benefit from its message of self-discovery, especially with the intergenerational connections it makes,” JAA President and CEO Deborah Winn-Horvitz said.”


Pitt grads try to turn YouTube hit into feature-length film “Thanks to Her”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Author: Joshua Axelrod

“Pittsburgh deserves to have a locally made film about a very important, representative topic, made by local people that care about giving a voice to marginalized people and also giving a voice to Pittsburgh.”


Pitt grad’s short film “Thanks to Her,” building on buzz, seeks funding to grow

Trib Live

Author: Joanne Klimovich Harrop

“This is the most creative generation. They have the platform and digital tools to allow them to express themselves. I want to help them make a bigger movie. They have such a vision. The film has created a lot of dialogue. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. It’s authentic.”


Short Film Written and Directed by Pitt Alums Premieres March 4th


“An award-winning short film that tells the upbeat story of a young woman’s struggle with her identity.”


Festival: Voices Rising Film Festival

Award: Best Short

“Thanks to Her, a short film that won Best Short in the Rising Voices Film Festival, which focuses on empowering women in film, and amplifying LGBTQIA messages.”

"Is it possible to shed tears of pain and laugh hysterically at the same time? THANKS TO HER, a brilliant short film directed by Sam Orlowski and Sam McCoy, provides the answer, while allowing viewers to span their entire emotional spectrum.


THANKS TO HER is a timeless film about self-discovery, compassion, fear and acceptance. What stands out is the honesty of the story. The organic journey of lead characters Millie Blake (AJ Mulder) and Andy Wellick (Julia De Avilez Rocha) is believable in every sense of the word. Millie struggles to accept her sexual orientation. Her struggles are compounded by the treatment of her classmate Andy. Only when the two are forced into each other’s worlds does Millie’s self-realization come to fruition. You not only believe these two characters, you embrace them.  

The directors expertly demonstrate the expressiveness of the power of words, as well as the poignancy of silence. 

This film is the complete package of directing, cinematography, lighting, audio, acting and expert story-telling. This is far more than a short film. THANKS TO HER is an empowering work of art, that impacts anyone who has felt the exasperation of being disenfranchised. Viewers will be saying “thank you” to THANKS TO HER."




                                                           - Kevin Michael Smith / Screenwriter – “Pride”; “One Heartbeat”; “Vamp It Out”; “Spotlight” 

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