Peggy M Rajski

Associate Arts Professor; Academic Director

Photo of Associate Arts Professor Peggy Rajski

Peggy Rajski is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who’s produced over a dozen feature films, directed an Oscar winning short, and garnered more than 40 major award nominations along the way.

Peggy began her feature film producing career with writer/director John Sayles, and produced three pictures with him: the cult classic THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET and the highly lauded historical dramas MATEWAN and EIGHT MEN OUT. She went on to work with Martin Scorcese and director Stephen Frears on THE GRIFTERS, nominated for four Academy Awards and winner of the Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature.

She produced Jodie Foster’s directorial debut LITTLE MAN TATE and her second film, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS starring Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft and Robert Downey Jr.  Other features include writer/director Alan Ball’s TOWELHEAD, the film adaptation of BEE SEASON with Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche, USED PEOPLE starring film legends Shirley Maclaine and Marcello Mastroianni, and the indie comedy GRASSROOTS.

Working in documentary as well as feature films, Peggy won the Producers Guild of America ‘Producers Challenge’ Award for Best Documentary on ONE BRIDGE TO THE NEXT and recently produced writer/director Bob Balaban’s segment for Morgan Spurlock’s WE THE ECONOMY series funded by Paul Allen.

Her directorial debut TREVOR, a poignant comedy about a Diana-Ross-and-musical-theater-obsessed 13 year old boy whose world is turned upside down when word spreads at school that he’s gay, won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. TREVOR led to the creation of The Trevor Project, a pioneering nonprofit organization she founded that is the country’s leading provider of life-saving services for l/g/b/t/q youth.  TREVOR is currently being adapted for the stage, and in 2014, the Academy’s Short Film and Animation Branch recognized her as a Live Action Icon.

Other directorial outings include the television series ER and the second-unit photography on several of the feature films she produced.

A longstanding member of the AMPAS Producers Branch, Peggy has served on the Academy’s Institutional and Scholar Grants Committee, the ‘Best Short Film’ nominating committee and the invitation-only ‘Best Foreign Film’ Shortlist Selection Committee. She also serves as a judge for the Academy’s Nicholls Fellowship Screenwriting Awards, the premiere competition for emerging screenwriting talent.

Peggy taught numerous workshops on producing for Sundance. AFI and the Motion Picture Association. She served on the Board of Directors for IFP/West for a decade, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Trevor Project.  She received the Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement in Film from NY Women in Film and TV, and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin in 2014.

Peggy currently resides in New York City and is happily married to Paul Colin. 



Introduction to Production Management Producing the Short Narrative Film Producing the Independent Feature Film Packaging the Independent Feature Film


MFA-University of Wisconsin/Madison, BA-University of Wisconsin/Stevens Point