Cinema senior uses capstone project to pay tribute to mother

May 14, 2012

For senior Cinema major Amy Andrews, the required capstone project was not just a culmination of her academic career at McDaniel, but a medium through which to pay tribute to her mother.

Andrews’ mother, Tammy, died January 19, 2004. On May 3, Andrews premiered her film honoring Tammy’s life, titled “Touched by an Angel.” Andrews calls it her Mother’s Day gift and a dream come true.

“My mother was the light of my life,” she said. “I never got to say goodbye to her when she passed away…I felt like I needed closure.”

Tammy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1969 at the age of nine. She became a nurse and worked at Carroll County General Hospital for 17 years. She ultimately went into kidney failure at the University of Maryland Medical Center when Amy was 16 years old.

“My mother is my hero and inspiration,” she said, adding that although her mother died before she could see her graduate from Westminster High School, “my mother is always in my heart…I know she would be so proud of me.”

She started filming last January, interviewing various family members and friends to get unique perspectives on her mother’s life. She worked with Cinema professors Jonathan Slade and Richard Brett and spent days in the editing room to bring the 26-minute documentary to the big screen.

“There were times where I broke down emotionally. I'm a strong-willed woman and I knew I that I could make it with the support of loved ones and friends,” she said.

When she showed the film to the public on May 3, Andrews said she could feel her mother’s spirit in the room, and felt honored to be able to share her mother’s life with others.

After graduation, she hopes to work for Maryland Public Television as a film editor. “I have found my calling in life,” she said.

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