Skip to main content

Media Arts Grad Emma Volz on Finding Holiness in Film

Volz will graduate in April 2023 with a BA in Media Arts Studies

Photo by Emma Olson/ External Relations

Media Arts major, Emma Volz, is graduating from BYU and will be presenting at Convocation on Apr 28. Volz has had her mind set on filmmaking since she was nine years old.

A few months after being admitted to the program, she paused her academic efforts to serve as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon completing her mission, Emma returned to school unsure of what direction to take. She felt prompted to explore other major options.

In an American Studies class, she watched a movie clip as part of the lesson. Volz recalled feeling her “mind race with excitement” and knew that film needed to be a part of her life. From that point on, Volz fixed her sights on Media Arts.

Volz is currently working on a documentary project called Congregation, a culminating project of her Media Arts experience. The film, taking place in England, will explore the positive and necessary impact Christian congregations have in the community. “I am grateful to be offering a small contribution to this important film and to be working with such capable and talented faculty and student filmmakers,” she said.

As a student of the Media Arts program, Volz has come to value the power of observation and believes that the best stories are the ones that are camouflaged by the “mundanity of normal everyday living.” Taking time to notice the small details in life can often create the greatest memories and experiences.

Volz attributes her greatest growth to the support and leadership of her faculty and peers. Associate Professor of BYU Theater and Media Arts, Dean Duncan, has become an influential role model in her life, both in and out of the classroom. “Through word and example, Dean has taught me profound lessons that have shaped and changed my academic and religious life,” she said.

Throughout her undergrad, Volz has begun to learn the value of focusing on the present. “Over the years, I have learned to be more mindful and genuinely find joy in the ‘now,’” she said. “This simple shift in perspective has brought me great peace and satisfaction.”

After graduation, Volz will continue striving to develop herself as a filmmaker, storyteller and disciple of Jesus Christ. She plans to pursue an MFA in documentary film and looks forward to building a rich life for herself and her future family.