Sonja Jernigan is an aspiring film producer, singer and musician. She is native to the San Diego, California area and spent a good deal of time in her youth working at her family’s small businesses, developing an appreciation for business at a young age. To satisfy her love for music Sonja took piano lessons, and played flute throughout her middle school and high school years. At age 16, she began taking private voice lessons and spent time training her voice on her own. Sonja studied Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting at California State University San Marcos, graduating in 2006. Sonja’s involvement in the feature length documentary, We Are Bitter Sober, as creator, producer, and videographer is her first major endeavor in the film industry. She loves the challenge and opportunity to blend her creative and business sides together, and collaborating with good friend Simona Vackova, on the documentary is the perfect way to achieve that.
Born in what is now the Czech Republic, Simona Vackova came to California with her parents at the age of four. Simona’s passion for film developed while taking three years of hands on courses in high school and obtaining an ROP certificate in video production. In 2005, Simona worked as a production assistant on a reality TV show about travel nursing entitled “13 Weeks” which focused on six travel nurses for a span of thirteen weeks in order to promote the challenging but lucrative lifesyle of travel nursing. The show aired as several webisodes on the internet. In 2009, Simona graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Film, Television and New Media Production from San Diego State University. That same year Simona won an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as a producer for a student televison pilot titled Hollywood Heights. Prior to her last semester at SDSU, Simona spent six weeks back in her hometown attending one of the world’s leading film schools, PCFE Prague Film School, where she collaborated with tweleve students from all over the world to work on multiple short films. Simona founded PennyRoyal Media in 2008. She is currently working on projects as a producer, editor, and videographer. Most recently, Simona has collaborated with Sonja Jernigan to produce a feature length documentary, We Are Bitter Sober.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
Thank you to the following people who have generously volunteered their time to help with the We Are Bitter Sober documentary: