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Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre wants to inspire political engagement through film

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

KU College Stories | College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre knew from a young age that she wanted to make movies. With her Film & Media Studies major and Journalism minor, the KU senior has been able to build a network of talented actors, writers, editors and cinematographers to live out her dreams. Now, several of the films she’s created have won awards, including a 2019 Brosseau Creativity Award from the Spencer Museum of Art, and been screened as part of major events like the New York Latino Film Festival.

Learn more about the projects she’s working on, how her major and minor work hand in hand and why story is a central — and often personal — aspect of her films.


Where are you from? And why did you decide to come to KU?

I’ve lived in Lawrence most of my life, and I’m a third generation Jayhawk, so KU has always felt like home. I love Lawrence and being close to family, and the academic support of the KU Honors program and the financial support from KU’s scholarship for National Hispanic Scholars helped me finalize my decision.

Why did you choose your major and minor?

I’ve known since I was in middle school that I wanted to make movies, and I’d been drawn to journalism after being on my high school newspaper’s staff. Over time I realized what I loved about both film and journalism was the opportunity to tell stories and make people be seen and heard. In industries that suffer from a lack of diversity, and have often upheld systems of oppression, I felt my voice could be powerful and important to break down walls for other people who are underrepresented in media.

What is the most exciting part of your programs?

What I find most exciting about film and journalism is the opportunity to be investigate the world around me. With film, I benefit a lot from observing people and relationships, which makes my writing stronger in creating complex characters and stories. In journalism, I get to peek into people’s lives when I interview them and research a story, which is always enlightening.

The most fun part about both majors, though, is getting to work with brilliantly talented people. The staff at the UDK constantly amazes me with how much detail and effort they put behind reporting, and serving the community through journalism. In film, I’ve met so many amazing actors, writers, editors and cinematographers at KU and while abroad, that make me so excited for the future of film. And there’s just the joy of getting to create something together.

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