Featured Filmmaker: Christena Hampson
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“My sister is my hero.”

-CHRISTENA HAMPSON

Meet Christena Hampson. An actor, choreographer, writer, and now gearing up to be a first time film director. The film: A true story with a personal connection.

Canadian-born Hampson originally went to university for medicine. While she may have had the brains for it, she didn’t have the stomach. Her true love was drama and dance, and helping people through the arts. She quickly repositioned herself into a more suitable educational stream, majoring in Drama. The stage has always been an exciting place to her, and through her twenties she both acted and danced in performances such as The Nutcracker. At the same time, she was developing behind the scenes as a producer and choreographer. Over the last twenty years she has built a thriving dance centre that teaches dancers of all ages and backgrounds, and continues acting (recently appearing in the hit tv show Fear They Neighbour on Discovery Investigation).

Compassion has always been a part of her journey, both in developing young dancers and creatives, as well as at home with her family. Christena’s sister Angela has special needs. Born in the mid-70s, Angela’s childhood challenges shed a light on the weaknesses in the “system”. As a baby, doctors wanted to send her to an institution, said she’d never walk or talk, and later she encountered alienation in the school system. Fortunately for Angela, her mother Dawn was a fighter. Dawn worked hard in her humble way to see her daughter breakthrough the barriers and shift the system toward integration, for the benefit of Angela and future of children with special needs.

Her family’s struggles have inspired Christena’s emotional new feature film, My Lala, currently in development at The Shooting Eye. Jeremy Major will produce.

We’re excited to bring it to you. Stay tuned and follow its progress from script to screen, and support the making of this film.

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE.

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Legend of the Harvest Curse
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It’s become a bit of a tradition for director Jeremy Major and his team to make creepy short films at Halloween.

This year, the director wanted to create a piece that didn’t show gore, but packed a good thrill for viewers of almost any age. And so the story of “Legend of the Harvest Curse” centres around two young siblings. When the brother is attacked by a fearsome creature in the woods, the sister and her parents discover the legend of a cursed creature that, if true, could destroy her brother by morning.

The film is set in 1800s New England. Westfield Heritage Village was chosen to capture the rugged simplicity of the era. Meanwhile Director of Photography Chris Sherry shot on 1960s anamorphic lenses to capture a vintage cinema look.

Stylistically, the film is part homage to creature features of the past, and part celebration of the suspense genre. Expect to watch much of it through the gaps between your fingers - especially the ending. 

For Major, the delightful part of making a story like this is putting characters in uncomfortable situations. The girl has to be brave and daring if she’s going to help save her family.

This production was an opportunity to bring newcomers to a film set and work alongside seasoned pros. Stars Katherine Arafat and Knox Covello make their big screen debuts in Harvest Curse. Additionally, behind the camera were some fresh filmmakers, including Angela Shaw from The Butcher Shop FX Makeup team. While she’s been working in the shop for some time, she brought her artistry to set on her first short.

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History and the modern machine

Thanks to Ian Rae and the team at Motorwerks Magazine for featuring some photography from director Jeremy Major, shot at a couple of BMW events. Juxtaposing a historic setting like Dundurn Castle with the killer BMW i8 and mounties on horseback, is a setup for sexy. Read the spread here: Motorwerks Magazine →

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