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Brookfield Filmmaker Premieres Short Film At Festival In Hawaii

Filmmaker Olivia Hampson Photo Credit: Contributed
Cast members Justin Chrzanowski and Alex Savusa from "Phases of Mahina." Photo Credit: Contributed

BROOKFIELD, Conn. -- Brookfield filmmaker Olivia Hampson was recently recognized for her short film, "Phases of Mahina," with an official selection for the 2016 Hawaii International Film Festival, which begins on Thursday.

"Phases of Mahina" is a 16-minute narrative story that explores the world of a Hawaiian woman struggling to find herself amid conflicting cultural, economic and family pressures, according to a press release.

“Mahina is a young woman caught between worlds: the past, represented by her interest in traditional arts like making Kapa cloth; the present, in a world that requires her to work as a housekeeper to support herself; and her family obligations, shaped by a life of poverty and survival,” said Hampson. “She constantly has to make choices, and they aren’t always what she wants to do for herself. It all comes to a head in these 16 minutes.”

The idea for "Phases of Mahina" began in letters exchanged with local Hawaiian children on the Waianae Coast, the western shore of Oahu, the release said.

Hampson’s sister is a teacher at Waianae Elementary School. Having her sister on Oahu provided a local base for planning, researching and executing a film from more than 3,000 miles away, and Hampson was drawn to learn more about the Hawaii she hadn’t seen in popular media.

Hampson said "Phases of Mahina" was the senior thesis for her bachelor of fine arts degree at Purchase College in 2015.

"Each year the students in our conservatory were required to make a complete production, and the senior project is our ‘calling card’ film," Hampson said. "I’m proud of 'Phases of Mahina,' though I have so much more of the story to tell. I’m hoping to make it into a feature-length film.”

Hampson's cast for "Phases of Mahina" was based in Hawaii and features Alex Savusa, Jordan Salud, Justin Chrzanowski and Julia Fae Sanders.

Several of the actors and crew will attend the the film's premiere at the festival on Nov. 11, 12, 13 on Oahu, Nov. 19 on Kauai, and Nov. 20 on the Big Island (Hawaii).

For more information about "Phases of Mahina" and Hampson’s work, visit

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