Student Feature: Thomas Walters

Thomas Walters raises Awareness with Two Documentaries


By Samuel Cash, Reporter

Thomas Walters, an EWU film student, is creating two documentaries to raise awareness about different problems in Spokane. His first documentary is about a student fighting wildfires and follows the story of Connor Stark to create inspiration in audiences. His second is a short documentary about the Kitty Cantina in North Spokane to spread the news about adoptable kittens in the cafe. 

Fighting Wildfires

Following the story of Connor Stark, a computer science student, Thomas Walters highlights the effects of wildfires and how anyone can help prevent them no matter who you are. 

“It’s a working title, but it’s a film I’m working on by myself. I saw a few images and videos of him helping his family over winter break,” Walters said. 

The film is still currently in the making, but Walters hopes audiences are captivated by the story and walk away with the idea that anybody can stop fires before they start. Forest Management is a big topic in his documentary, instigating audiences to be cautious when it comes to preventing wildfires so they don’t become a problem in the first place. 

“I’m trying to create a running theme of shedding light on a situation in an entertaining way, because that’s what film does,” Walters said.

Kitty Cantina

Walter’s second documentary is about the Kitty Cantina in North Spokane. The Kitty Cantina is a cafe housing several adoptable kittens looking for new homes. 

The Kitty Cantina hopes to reduce euthanasia and help homeless cats find new homes through a unique cafe experience. It helps boost the exposure of homeless kittens to give people a chance to adopt a kitten. Walters hopes to inspire audiences to give these kittens good homes. 

“They act as a foster agency. They take care of cats until they find somebody who is able to adopt them,” Walters said. 

Student Feature

Walters believes there’s potential to bring these documentaries to a wider audience, such as a film festival. It depends on the finishing product.

 “I’m confident the Kitty Cantina will be able to use our materials by the time we get to the final. I’m sure they can use it to raise awareness,” Walters said. 

Although, being a student and a filmmaker creating two documentaries, Walters said the most difficult part is managing his time. Keeping track of all the moving pieces is difficult, but with effective time management and motivation, Walters hopes to create the best films he can to convince audiences to think about these problems in a different way. 

Despite the difficulty of balancing being a student and filmmaker, it’s still a rewarding process. “Most rewarding thing is watching it. You’re celebrating all the good work everybody did,” Walter said.

These films hope to reach a wider audience and raise the awareness of both preventing wildfires and adopting homeless kittens. 

“Whether it’s preventing a fire, adopting a cat, or just being more aware about homeless cats in the area, you can always do something,” Walters said.