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Runyon prepares for internship in Guatemala

April 21, 2015

Junior Livvy Runyon is headed to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where she’ll conduct an internship with Actuality Media, a highly selective documentary production company.

“It’s a huge blessing,” she said. “Not everyone gets this opportunity. I’m very thankful.”

Runyon will serve as a producer on a four-member crew that will film a person making a difference in his or her community. Runyon won’t know the subject until she begins; however, the production company is focused on sharing stories of those making positive changes in the world. Once the team makes the documentary, it’s also on them to submit it to film festivals.

This isn’t Runyon’s first trip overseas, although it will be the first time she’s flying solo. Last summer, she joined Assistant Professor Chase Thompson and another Stephens student, Jordan Laguna ’14, on a trip to Haiti, where they filmed a volunteer effort to build a school through the buildOn organization.

“The Haiti experience really helped,” she said. “It’s really competitive, so it helped that I had previous experience overseas.”

Runyon also credits her Stephens experience.

“I feel Stephens is so personal, and that’s what makes the difference,” she said. “The opportunities we get here and the people we get to meet are amazing.”

Filmmaker “Guinevere Turner was actually here on campus, reviewed my work and gave me feedback on my film. I still can’t believe that happened.”

Those connections and experience, Runyon said, are invaluable.

“It will make a difference in how far we go,” she said.

Runyon hopes to become a documentary filmmaker, although she hasn’t ruled out camera operation, especially for National Geographic or other types of programming. Next fall, she’s applying for a Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship.

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