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Filmmaker Series continues with Iranian childhood adventure

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.
November 7, 2023

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

This year's filmmaker, Alison O'Daniel, is a visual artist, United States Artist Disability Futures fellow, and Guggenheim fellow. O’Daniel’s 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 she 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 because “The Tuba Thieves” was a unique cinematic experience that blends her 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. Ialeggio and Associate Professor and English Department Chair Dan Rosenberg 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.”

Tuesday’s screening will be the 1987 film “Where Is The Friend’s House?,” directed by Abbas Kiarostami. The movie is set in northern Iran and “takes a premise of fable-like simplicity — a boy searches for the home of his classmate whose school notebook he has accidentally taken — and transforms it into a miraculous, child’s-eye adventure of the everyday,” according to a synopsis from Janus Films. “As our young hero zigzags determinedly across two towns aided (and sometimes misdirected) by those he encounters, his quest becomes both a revealing portrait of Iranian society in all its richness and complexity and a touching parable about the meaning of personal responsibility.” 

Each film for Wells’ Filmmaker-In-Residence Series is free and open to the college and local communities. The series will include two more screenings next semester. The 1995 French thriller “La Haine" was screened in September as the first film. 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 communications@wells.edu

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