Maya Weatherall

Maya Weatherall

Maya Weatherall’s short film, “Community Engagement: Colfax Avenue,” will be shown at the fifth annual New Urbanism Film Festival Oct. 19-22 in Los Angeles.

Weatherall is a Wartburg College senior from Chicago majoring in journalism and communication with an emphasis in digital cinema. She filmed the three-minute video while studying at Wartburg West in Denver, Colo., earlier this year. The film satisfied Weatherall’s community engagement project, which was required as part of the program’s curriculum, and allowed her to get more experience behind the camera and in the editing bay.

The film features community members and representatives from WalkDenver and the city talking about the issues facing pedestrians at a busy five-point intersection in the heart of the city. Many would like to see part of Park Avenue shut down and turned into a green space. The film premiered at a neighborhood block party in Denver this summer.

In Waverly, Weatherall connected with Colleen Baker, an actress in “This Day Forward,” formerly titled “When Faith and Fear Collide,” a film shot in the Cedar Valley in May that tells the story of a Waverly family’s journey with cancer. Baker encouraged her to submit the film.

The New Urbanism Film Festival screens short- and feature-length films focused on city improvements. It was founded as a way to “take the conversation about urban planning beyond the classroom, out of the council chambers and on to the silver screen.”

“This opportunity will be a great start to working in the film industry. This is the first project I’ve done almost completely by myself and for it to be accepted is just awesome,” she said. “My mom and I have always talked about God’s plan and purpose in our lives, and she was like, ‘This is just the beginning of what he wants you to do.’”

And Weatherall agrees that this festival is just the beginning for her.

“I want to meet as many people as possible, ask as many questions as possible, figure out how they got to where they are today and then figure out what I want to see myself doing after I graduate,” she said. “Of course it’s working in the film industry, but what does that look like.”

Her video can be viewed at