Jerusha Hess

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Jerusha Elizabeth Hess graduated from Brigham Young University in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in media arts studies. She and her husband Jared Hess are known for their works Napoleon Dynamite (2004) and Nacho Libre (2006), both of which they co-wrote and directed (Nacho Libre was co-written with Mike White). They also produced the video for The Postal Service's third single, "We Will Become Silhouettes." In February of 2013 Jerusha Hess returned to BYU for a Media Arts Forum.


Jerusha met Jared while attending Brigham Young University's film school. She co-wrote Napoleon Dynamite with Jared, and the film was produced and edited by classmate Jeremy Coon. In 2010 it was announced that Hess' hit movie "Napoleon Dynamite" would become an animated series on Fox featuring the further adventures of the iconic teen, and the voice talents of the original cast.

In January of 2012 one of Hess' films, Austenland, was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Austenland is an adaptation of Shannon Hale's book by the same title. Three years later, in 2015, another film writen with her husband, Don Verdean, was accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.

Hess gave a presentation at the 2015 LDS Film Festival, where her film Austenland was re-screened.

Family Life

Jared and Jerusha Hess are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have one son, Elliot, and one daughter, Greta. They currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.


  • Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
  • Nacho Libre (2006)
  • Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
  • Austenland (2012)

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