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True Colors | ORIGINAL Short Documentary

The top three most diverse public high schools in the United States are located in Anchorage, Alaska. This cinematic short documentary takes us inside the hallways of Bartlett High School in the weeks leading up to 2023 graduation as seniors reflect on hard-won lessons learned about equality, acceptance, and what it takes to make it to the top. 

TRUE COLORS follows seniors Oumie and Niko as they prepare for the most transformative moment of their young lives while balancing family, culture, academics, sports, and future plans. For them, striving for success means refusing to compromise their dreams. What emerges is a portrait of two families united by a singular community: The second most diverse public high school in the nation, a place where differences become strengths, and obstacles are overcome together.

Through this vivid cinematic short documentary film we’re confronted with a profound question: What can one of the most diverse communities in the nation teach us about accepting one another?


Director: Brad Hillwig (2023)

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The Purpose of Song | ORIGINAL Short Documentary

Growing up in the remote Alaska village of Toksook Bay, Byron Nicholai fell in love with his native Yup’ik singing, drumming, and dancing. When his original songs began going viral, he decided to see how far his talent could take him. Driven by the pain of his father’s abandonment long ago, Nicholai found purpose and healing through music and set out to keep his Yup’ik culture and language alive–a journey that has taken him to new heights, and ultimately brought him right back home. “The Purpose of Song” is an award-winning short documentary.


DIRECTOR: Brad Hillwig (2022, 21 minutes).


When archivists at the Anchorage Museum began collecting photos from prominent Black Alaskans, they unlocked a treasure trove of untold history. This revealing short documentary provides a glimpse into a one-of-a-kind collection at the Anchorage Museum, one rooted in shining a light on diverse voices and perspectives. 

DIRECTOR: Brad Hillwig (2022, 11 minutes)

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CREATORS: Tony Perelli

For Tony Perelli, being an artist is about more than just his work. The Homer, Alaska-based wood carver specializes in making everyday objects like bowls, plates, and spoons. Through these elegant wooden pieces, he brings an awareness of nature into life’s daily tasks. But for him, being an artist is about more than the work–it’s an opportunity to live with a purpose rooted in simplicity, intention, and gratitude.


DIRECTOR: Brad Hillwig (2022)

CREATORS: Amanda Rose Warren

Amanda Rose Warren began painting professionally to help earn money during her mother’s costly battle with stage four lung cancer. Years later, she creates joy through her colorful paintings that portray the beauty, power, and spirit of Alaska.


DIRECTOR: Brad Hillwig (2022)

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Hawaiian Love Story

Filmmaker Statement: This film was shot on the Big Island of Hawaii during our first vacation with our nearly 2-year old daughter. I’d come across the beautiful poem “Hawaiian Love Song” by Kleber Wing some time before and was struck by how visual it was.

I knew I wanted to use it as the narrative base for a film. The poem was written sometime around 1947, but very little information is available about its author. While the poem seems like a meditation on Hawaii’s natural wonders, I’ve come to believe it is about the loss of a loved one. Still, I felt the beauty and simplicity of the words left room for interpretation. With that, I wanted my film to be a narrative about new life rather than loss. Playing off of an old cliche (message in a bottle), I used vivid imagery, time-shifting, and a narrative focused on our daughter’s first experiences of Hawaii, to create a film focused on hope rather than loss. Experimental film (2022).

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