Senior Eliza Walther showed her touching short film, “Impactful Women” at this week’s Huntington High School Film Festival at Cinema Arts Centre. By the end of the film, there were few dry eyes in the crowd.
The teenager’s narrative film highlighted the “impactful” roles played in her life by her mother, Jennifer; her grandmother, Mary Ann; her aunt, Maria and her sister, Phoebe. The moving images of the four and the emotional words offered up by Ms. Walther were, well, moving.
Ms. Walther is an up and coming young filmmaker. “I wanted to try something different from all the other videos I did through my three years in video classes,” said Ms. Walther about the genesis of “Impactful Women.” “I had never done a video essay before and what better subject than the women who helped me get to where I am and where I am going?”
The senior plans to study sports media at Ithaca College. President of Natural Helpers, Ms. Walther is well known as a kind and considerate young woman who is always ready to help others. “Being a Natural Helper was very special,” she said. “It was an eye-opening experience to be able to help others and be helped by people who care.”
Ms. Walther and art teacher Heather Swan, who leads the high school’s video arts program, have formed a close bond. The relationship has been particularly fruitful for the teenager, culminating in her film, “Impactful Women.”
“I am so proud of Eliza and all her hard work over the past three years,” Mrs. Swan said. “This year, she not only thrived in Advanced Video Production/Video III, but she also assisted my Video I students as my video intern. When we were brainstorming for a project idea, I was incredibly moved when Eliza told me her story. When I suggested she use this story for her final project, she didn’t hesitate. This is a testament to how strong and fearless she is. This film is inspiring and heart felt and brought some tears to the audience at the film festival. I wish Eliza a wonderful and prosperous future as she continues her video path in Sports Media at Ithaca College.”
Ms. Walther found the high school video arts program to be especially meaningful. “It was one of the best experiences in high school, taught by one of my favorite teachers,” she said. “I learned a lot and now I am headed towards studying sports media in college because of the video program.”
As her time as a high school senior draws to a close, Ms. Walther took time to reflect. “Huntington helped me learn how to navigate many different situations and I will take these experiences with me,” she said.