Olivia Klaus takes a socially active role through film and community outreach to instigate real change. Her career began with extensive travel throughout Central America and South America, shooting stock footage and interviews for various non-profit organizations. Since then, her work has been seen on various networks like Discovery, CNN, HLN, Showtime, MTV and The History Channel. In 2010, she was listed by Pixel Project as one of the "Top 16 Influential Leaders in the Movement to End Violence Against Women."
As her directorial debut in 2009, Olivia created Sin by Silence about the first inmate led battered women’s group in the US prison system. For eight years, Olivia attended Convicted Women Against Abuse meetings while filming at California's oldest women's prison, and built close relationships with each of the women featured in the documentary. The film went on to win numerous film festival and advocacy awards, highlighted in People Magazine and on CNN, distributed by Women Make Movies, and broadcasted by Investigation Discovery in 2011 to over 2.2 million viewers. The film also went on to inspire new legislation in California based on the documentary. “The Sin by Silence Bills,” AB 593 and AB 1593, were signed into law by Governor Brown on September 30, 2012, to improve the paths of freedom of nearly 7000 currently incarcerated domestic violence victims who have spent decades behind bars.
Most recently, Olivia directed and produced Life After Manson that tells the exclusive story of Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Manson's most devoted follower. The film premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and is currently screening at top US and International festivals. An excerpt of the film was recently released as part of the New York Times Op-Docs series.
Olivia has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Cinema Arts department at Vanguard University, her own alma mater, where she received numerous awards for her undergrad work. She is also on the producing team of 2013 Discovery broadcasted documentary Unlikely Friends, directed by Leslie Neale, and has consulted on the Emmy nominated Brave Miss World directed by Cecilia Peck. Olivia has been a resident at the Working Films and Fledgling Fund Film Residency and a guest speaker at Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC, ASU, USF, Purdue and various national conferences.