zabriskie hall

Filmmaker Series begins with classic French thriller

Supported by the New York Council on the Arts, the series is a four-part film screening in honor of filmmaker and visual artist Alison O’Daniel. 
September 22, 2023

The first film for this year’s Filmmaker-In-Residence Series, hosted by the college’s English and Visual Arts departments, will screen Thursday in Zabriskie Hall at 7 p.m.

The chosen filmmaker, Alison O’Daniel, is a United States Artist Disability Futures fellow and a Guggenheim fellow. Her work has been exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and many others. Her film, “The Tuba Thieves,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2023 and is currently on the international film festival circuit. For Wells College’s series, O’Daniel curated three films that influenced her work, and “The Tuba Thieves” will be shown as the fourth in April, where O’Daniel will be on-campus for a Q&A with attendees after the screening.

Assistant Professor of Studio Art Anna Ialeggio said O’Daniel was chosen as this year’s filmmaker because “The Tuba Thieves” was a unique cinematic experience that blends O’Daniel’s experiences in visual art, narrative storytelling, experimental documentary, and engagement with the deaf and hard of hearing communities and explores a complicated and poetic connection between people and places.

“The series builds toward a screening of Alison’s own work through three very different films, each of which is an underrepresented gem,”  Ialeggio said. “I hope that students and community members enjoy this rare gift from a working artist, the idea that inside of every singular creative vision is a constellation of images and stories by other artists. Sharing the experience of watching a film with other people as an audience can be a real pleasure. We can’t wait to share this with the college and community.”

Dan Rosenberg, associate professor and English department chair, said he and Ialeggio created the series together to offer more access to films for both the campus and surrounding region, considering that the closest movie theater is about 20 miles away from Wells.

“You’d have to go even farther to find a theater showing anything but the biggest blockbusters, so the idea of a film series was immediately exciting to us,” Rosenberg said. “Asking a filmmaker to curate a series that contextualizes their own work was just a natural result of our shared relationship to art-making. We believe that artists are constantly in conversation, constantly inspired or challenged or even irritated by other work. All of this is a joyful experiment, but so far, our first filmmaker’s introduction to our first film has already led us to believe we just might have had a good idea here.”

Released as “Hate” in the U.S. in 1995, Thursday’s screening will be the French social thriller, crime, and drama film “La Haine” by Mathieu Kassovitz. “Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) — a Jew, an African, and an Arab — give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmering until it reaches a climactic boiling point,” according to a synopsis from The Criterion. “A work of tough beauty, ‘La Haine’ is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.”

“La Haine” contains depictions of violence; viewer discretion is advised. Wells’ Filmmaker-In-Residence Series will include three more film screenings throughout the academic year. Each event is free and open to the college and local communities. More details can be found on the college’s event page for the Filmmakers Series. Follow Wells College on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for updates. 

Emma Vallelunga

Content Strategist

Emma is the staff writer and content strategist for the Wells College Marketing and Communications Office. She helps promote campus news, events, engagement opportunities, and stories about Wells worth telling the world. It's her job to get to know you, no matter who you are, where you're from, or how you identify. Tell the Marcom team your story at

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