A Casper native has returned home to share her powerful film about child sexual abuse, and to help raise funds for a local organization that helps victims of such abuse.
Alyssa Carpenter, who lived in Casper and attended Natrona County High School, wrote and stars in "Mahjong And The West", which was filmed in Wyoming and features Wyoming talent in the cast and crew. It will be screened Thursday, July 6th, at Casper College, Durham Hall, 7:00 p.m. to raise funds for the Children's Advocacy Project. Tickets are available at the door, and are $10.00.

A press release describes the story of the film, which premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival and went on to play at other festivals including the Green Bay Film Festival where it won Best Screenplay and was nominated for Best Cinematography.

"Mahjong and the West" is about a city girl named Maddy who returns to Wyoming to bury her mother and reunites with her childhood best friend with whom she shares a troubled past. Kate, a hard-living rodeo princess, takes Maddy on a downward spiral of booze, thrills and comforts with two local bull riders. But both soon realize that their reunion will force them to confront their shared trauma and either make peace with it or die trying.

Mahjong is a Chinese game that serves as a healing element in the film for the two girls who suffered the abuse, said Carpenter. We asked her why she feels it's important that people see "Mahjong And The West."

"I think that sexual abuse is a subject that's not talked about, and I didn't know about it until I started doing this film," she replied. "And actually during the shooting we had four girls come forward from our crew and say, 'This happened to me, this is very important that we're doing this.' And so I hope that with this fundraiser we can get some awareness out there, and also putting money toward this amazing outreach is really, I hope, very helpful for our community."

The film has also been screened New York and Los Angeles, raising awareness and funds for child abuse prevention organizations. Proceeds from the Casper screening will benefit the Children’s Advocacy Project of Casper. Stacy Nelson of CAP said, “We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with Alyssa Carpenter, a very talented and successful Casper native. We hope everyone will come out and participate in this amazing opportunity to view the movie and meet with Alyssa and Jannette and support the Children’s Advocacy Project in the process.”

The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with writer/producer/actress team Alyssa Carpenter and Jannette Bloom.

Carpenter partnered with New York based BCDF Pictures whose movie credits include Bachelorette and Peace Love and Misunderstanding with Jane Fonda.

Parental guidance is strongly suggested due to language and sexuality. You can view the trailer below.