A casual look at Aliya Finch, a fifth-grade student at Summit Christian Academy, suggests that she is like all little girls her age. And while her painted toes, stylish sandals, and coordinated outfit reveal her flare for fashion, they do not hint at her industriousness, tenacity, creativity, or her heart.
Ask Aliya what she enjoys doing, and she would say that dancing and acting are high on her list. In fact with a little prodding, she might share about how she has shone in both arenas.
Aliya won third place for Best Solo Performance in Jazz for the Primary Division at the 2013 Dance America National Competition in Chicago. She’s also appeared in her acting debut, “Unlimited,” a major motion picture that is inspired by the life of Aliya’s grandfather, Harold Finch. Finch was also executive producer of the film, which stars veteran screen actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson as Finch.
“The movie is about God’s unlimited power that we shouldn’t give up on Him,” Aliya Finch said. “It is a Christian movie, about Grandpa – a little.”
Finch, a previous member of the SCA Board of Education, grew up during the Great Depression. However, his life challenges did not thwart the significant contributions that he has made in several arenas, including science and business.
“Unlimited” loosely parallels Finch’s life and tells the story of a young man who makes an incredible scientific discovery and finds himself in a very unusual circumstance.
Because she wanted to be in “Unlimited,” Aliya took the initiative and auditioned for the part of the lead orphan in the film. She competed with several other girls, but established herself as the top choice with the independent casting director.
Aliya also impressed the film’s director, Nathan Frankowski, who said, “Her stage presence, confidence, and facial expressions really set her apart.”
Fred Thompson added, “To see Aliya, who has the largest non-speaking part in the film, it was hard not to tear up.”