Creator connection

ASWWU starts spiritual film festival for Adventist universities.


On April 29, the Associated Student Body of Walla Walla University (ASWWU) hosted its first ever Connect with the Creator film festival. During this event, students presented original films that revealed how they connect with God through the outdoors. Students from WWU, Southern Adventist University, and Union College created films featured in the festival. 

Parker Leclerc, senior theology major and ASWWU spiritual vice-president, explained how the event was created to encourage students to share how they connect with God. “I hope students walk away [...] encouraged to seek out meaningful ways to connect with God; whether that be at church, at home, with friends, on a mountain bike trail, rock wall, or all of the above,” says Leclerc.

Nathaniel Sanchez, a senior aviation technology major, was one of the featured filmmakers. A few months prior to the film festival's creation, Sanchez was struggling to understand why fly fishing was enjoyable and captivating to him. “I used this film prompt as a way to focus on what had been capturing my attention for months and simply what I was truly feeling,” said Sanchez. 

Throughout his film, Sanchez used fly fishing to illustrate the activities we enjoy in life that give us a sense of purpose. “It’s about taking time to notice the things that often get overlooked or simply go unseen,” he said. Sanchez emphasized two key points through his film: what fly fishing means to him personally—how it brings him peace and connection with creation—and a call to viewers to see how the quiet moments in their life add meaning. Through contemplating the prompt for his film, Sanchez could articulate how his enjoyment of fly fishing adds to his spirituality. He said, “I learned that there are things in life that are not connected to my career that add to the meaning and fulfillment of who I am and want to be.” 

Southern Adventist University had their own screening event of the ASWWU film festival on their campus on April 27. Leclerc explained that he hopes this new project will bring student bodies from Adventist universities closer together through the common ground of seeking Christ.

You can watch the trailer to the film festival online.

Event flyer