About the Film

College roommates navigate a year of challenges, raw emotions and unique successes inherent in a mentorship program that pairs students with and without intellectual disabilities in a campus environment.


Film poster: faded in the background is an image of Olivia, smiling on top of Kylie's shoulders, who is also smiling. Both are white college-aged females with glasses, blond hair, and wearing grey Syracuse University sweatshirts. Over the image (from top to bottom) is "Olivia Baist" and "Kylie Walter" (at the top), "a film by Kylie Walter" followed by the full film title (in the middle) and 4 film laurels with abbreviated credits (at the bottom).

SYNOPSIS: In the field of education, “inclusive” involves real, equitable, and individualized opportunities for students with and without disabilities. The InclusiveU program at Syracuse University creates such educational and social opportunities in a higher education setting. Inclusive peer mentorship comes with a unique set of challenges, successes and emotions. The film follows the evolving relationship of Kylie (a junior studying Education) and her roommate Olivia (a non-matriculated freshman studying Studio Arts). Throughout the academic year, their vlogs expose the realities of inclusive mentorship from a student perspective. Interviews with eleven of their peers, fulfilling roles as both inclusive mentees and mentors, adds multiple perspectives.

​As a participatory and reflexive documentary, ​And They Were Roommates: Navigating Inclusive Mentorship in Higher Education ​provides insight and counsel to the questions, thoughts, strategies, and triumphs that are uncovered when students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities work to foster mutually beneficial and sustainable mentor/mentee relationships.

SPECIFICATIONS:Runtime - 00:38:40​Project Budget - 1,258 (USD)Production Period - Oct. 2018 - Aug. 2019Post-Production - Aug. 2019 - May 2020Language - EnglishCountry - United States of America (New York)​Film Type - Short Documentary Accessibility Features - Closed Captions, Audio Descriptions (English)

The Crew

Kylie, a white female with blond hair in a half messy bun, is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a black shirt in front of a wall of green leaves.

Kylie Walter

Director, Editor, Cinematographer & Cast

​Kylie (she/her/hers) is a recent graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Education ('20), now working towards a Masters in Education at Boston College. She produced and edited ​And They Were Roommates independently as a first-time, female creator, referring to educational practices, other documentaries, and YouTube editing tutorials to guide the creative process. During production, Kylie was a junior at Syracuse University and roommate of (Residential Mentor for) Olivia. Kylie enjoys running, photography and has a newfound love for film.


Olivia, a white female in her late teens is wearing an orange Syracuse University tshirt and jeans. She is posing and laughing on her dorm room bed, with an SU pillow and photographs decorating the wall behind her.

Olivia Baist

Cinematographer & Cast

Olivia (she/her/hers) is now a junior at Syracuse University ('22) studying Studio Arts through the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education’s InclusiveU program. Olivia co-filmed ​And They Were Roommates, taking the lead for vlog-styled footage. Olivia is a first-time, female cinematographer that identifies as having a disability. During production, she was a first-year student and roommate (Residential Mentee) of Kylie. Olivia is originally from upstate New York and loves dancing, painting, jewelry making, and participating in clubs on campus.


Featured Cast

Headshot of Madii. Frame from the film.

Madii.

Headshot of Dave. Frame from the film.

Dave.

Headshot of Meghan. Frame from the film.

Meghan.

Headshot of Sally. Frame from the film.

Sally.

Headshot of Andrew. Frame from the film.

Andrew.

Headshot of Chloe. Frame from the film.

Chloe.

Headshot of Rexy. Frame from the film.

Rexy.

Headshot of Laura. Frame from the film.

Laura.

Headshot of Ashley. Frame from the film.

Ashley.

Headshot of Jon. Frame from the film.

Jon.

Headshot of Matt. Frame from the film.

Matt.

Headshot of Olivia. Frame from the film.

Olivia.

Headshot of Kylie. Frame from the film.

Kylie.


An orange box with text reading "Thank you" in large letters. "to those who shared their words and support" is smaller.

Thank you:

SPECIAL THANKS

Christy Ashby and Beth Myers served the advisor and reader for the thesis portion of the project. Their continuous encouragement, conversations, critique, and advice are what encouraged this project to continue beyond its original intent.

To the community of people that made this all possible, we thank you.

Alexis ArmisteadAllison WhitlockAmie RedmondAndrew BenbenekAshley JandrewBud BuckhoutChloe PayneChrissy KudrewiczDanielle MellottDanielle SmithDave VoronDee KatovitchElisa DiOdoardo
Emma MauerHannah HarrHarry DydoJenn QuinnJesse WalkerJoanna MasingilaJon RuizJulia RussoJustina FikertKaren HallKarly GrifasiLaura McCallLaura Pecori
Laura PickeringLauren WalterMaddie HolmesMadii GoldbergMaeghan HigginsMary Kate MengesMatthew SardinoMegan CartierMeghan BrozaitisMicah Fialka-FeldmanMichael GillMichael TuckerMichelle Sievers
Nancy WrightNaomi ShanguhyiaRexy VachereauRhea RoggieSally ShehatouSam RouxSyracuse Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative EngagementThe ELLC (2018-19)The Kelberman CenterTim Findlay
& so many more

PRESENTATION CREDIT

The Renée Crown Honors Program provided funding for the majority of project costs and supplied advice that sparked new ideas from start to finish. The programs intersectional learning opportunities encouraged this project to dig deep and be polished while still being personal. They also proved to be a consistent supporter in sharing this film with others and recognizing its significance.

The School of Education at Syracuse University provided Kylie with a foundational understanding of educational practices and conscious advocacy for disability rights in addition to financially supporting this project. Their support and teachings provided necessary understandings that supported Kylie's role as a mentor and life-long learner. Many educational practices and philosophies were embedded in all aspects of the filmmaking process as well.

The Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, and the InclusiveU program, introduced two life-long friends, Kylie and Olivia. The Taishoff Center and InclusiveU provided unmatchable support throughout the entire filmmaking (and mentorship) process. Without their generosity, thoughtfulness, and dedication to inclusivity, this project simply would not have been possible.

Music

Lauren Walter makes a debut with her original, "Tomorrow", in the film. The song was exchanged for $1. Lauren is one of Kylie's fantastically cool siblings.


The film also features various Artlist artists: Paper Planes, Ziv Moran, Greg McKay, Low Light, Lance Conrad, Assaf Ayalon, LUMINAR, LiQWYD, Muted, Russo, Katrina Stone and Rex Banner. YouTube Music artist Ann Annie is also featured.

An artsy image of Lauren, lit by red and blue lights, highlighting the right side of her face. She looks down at the camera, posed with her jaw raised and a serious expression.