nys writers logo


Sean Dunne
Sean Dunne


NYS Writers Institute, Friday, October 15, 2015
7:00 p.m. Film screening and discussion [Note early start time] |
Page Hall 135 Western Ave.,
Downtown Campus

Sean Dunne, director of the award-winning film, Oxyana (2013), an intimate and harrowing documentary profile of Oceana, West Virginia, the unofficial capital of the Oxycodone abuse epidemic, will speak following a screening of the film on Friday, October 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. [note early start time] in Page Hall on the University at Albany downtown campus, 135 Western Avenue, Albany. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute in conjunction with UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice’s Crime, Justice and Social Structure Film Series.

OxyanaA screening of the documentary film, oxYaNA (United States, 2013, 78 minutes, color)an intimate and harrowing documentary profile of life in Oceana, West Virginia, a once-prosperous coal town that has become the unofficial capital of the Oxycodone abuse epidemic— will be followed by commentary and Q&A with director Sean Dunne.

OXYANA received “Best Documentary Feature—Special Jury Mention” at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and Dunne received “Best Documentary Director.” OXYANA is a front-line account of a community in the grips of an epidemic, told through the voices of the addicts, the dealers, and members of the general community. It’s a haunting glimpse into an American nightmare, a cautionary tale told with raw and unflinching honesty.

The Maddowblog of The Rachel Maddow Show called it, “A devastating examination of the rampant spread of Oxycodone addiction in the green hills of West Virginia,” and said, “Just try to contain your anger at Big Pharma while watching this. Heartbreaking and essential.” The Hollywood Reporter said, “A once-thriving mining town delivers its own eulogy in Sean Dunne’s OXYANA, a doc about rural drug addiction in which a generation of addicts describes the almost unbelievable damage drugs have done to their community. Though the subject isn’t completely new, the film’s patient, empathetic approach and top-notch production offer something conventional journalism typically doesn’t; the result is an important film that deserves to be seen in arthouses.”

Sean Dunne, a native of Peekskill, is known for films that focus on socially marginalized individuals, and for his ability to get his subjects to “open up” and share their stories. A former writer and producer for The History Channel, Dunne received an Emmy nomination for his short film, THE ARCHIVE. His feature length documentaries include FLORIDA MAN (2015), about the marginalized inhabitants of the Sunshine State, and CAM GIRLZ (2015), about the DIY porn industry. Vice called FLORIDA MAN, “a love letter to our weirdest and best state…. cinema verite chock full of jorts and malt liquor.” CAM GIRLZ was featured as an “Editor’s Pick” of The Atlantic.

A continuation of the Justice & Multiculturalism in the 21st Century film and speakers series, the Crime, Justice and Social Structure Film Series represents an ongoing partnership between the University at Albany’s School of Criminal Justice and the NYS Writers Institute. The current series addresses crime and justice issues related to social structure and inequalities, the challenges faced by urban and rural communities, and the roles of family bonds, social support networks, and intergenerational relationships.

For additional information visit www.albany.edu/writers-inst or contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620.