Film students at Walla Walla University had the opportunity to watch Nina Vallado’s award winning documentary “Sisterly” and take part in a Q&A session on April 14.
Nina Vallado, a graduate of Andrews University, created “Sistery” while attending the university in 2017. Vallado has won several awards for her documentary including Best Short at the Autism Society Autfest and Best Documentary at the Boston Film Festival. “Sisterly” was a finalist for the 2017 Student Academy Awards.
In her documentary, Vallado details her complicated relationship with her sister, Lisa, who was born with severe autism. The film documents their journey to overcome communication challenges and eventually connect. She concludes the film with hope and triumph, saying, "I am at a place where I get to start over with my sister. It’s wonderful, different, and unprecedented, but it is ours.”
Matt Webster, production and facilities manager, teaches a documentary class and invited Vallado to present to the class. Webster says, “Nina's journey in creating the film is something we wanted our film students to gather insight from.” He specifically hoped they could learn in-depth details about finding compelling stories to share in their own documentaries.
Travis Driver, senior graphic design major and film minor, said that he was touched and inspired by Vallado’s documentary. Also having faced language problems as a kid, Driver felt a personal connection to “Sisterly.”
Driver also sees parallels between himself and Vallado. Because of her history studying film at an Adventist college and her current success, Vallado’s story gives Driver hope that he too can flourish in the film industry. “It gave me this idea that I could do it; that the impossible is possible,” says Driver. He hopes to get into the animation industry after graduating from WWU.
WWU film students have many opportunities to talk to professionals in the film industry through regular colloquium presentations, alumni lectures, and annual trips to the SonScreen Festival. To learn more about the program, visit wallawalla.edu/comm-lang.
Posted on June 8, 2022