Alyson Hetzel is a filmmaker, photographer, and dancer originally from Crowley, La. They obtained a BFA in Digital Filmmaking at Loyola University in New Orleans, where they also danced with Ellevate Dance Company, The Radical Buffoons, and in several local artists’ music videos. While at Loyola, they directed several short narratives and documentaries, specifically Mudbugs, which will be shown at the 33rd New Orleans Film Festival in November. Through images, one moving and one still, and dance, they enjoy creating intimate, personal and meaningful stories in collaboration with other incredible humans.
Who makes up your art circle?
My art circle is full of many different creatives I’ve met along my artistic journey, like my professors and classmates from my time at Loyola University, the teachers and dancers at Awakenings studio in New Orleans and my friends who inspire me to consistently create and step out of my comfort zone. I’m very thankful to Rin Ramirez and Alexis Reyes for being my partners in crime when it comes to filmmaking. Regina Nicosia for dancing and pushing me along my Heels and Pole dance journey. And my sister Laura Hetzel who inspired me to pick up my first camera.
How do you expand your art circle?
A big part of expanding my circle is through collaborations. I’m love to reach out to my talented friends and community members when I have a project or idea in mind. I love when my films and dance can include people I admire so much so I’m always looking for new artist to meet and work with.
What value do you see in having a creative community?
A huge part of my filmmaking career relies on the collaboration from my creative community. None of my films would be possible without others. As well as I draw a lot of inspiration from other dancers and creatives to find new approaches to my projects. Without a creative community, my art wouldn’t be as meaningful.
How does your artistic approach contribute to your community?
I want to make creating art with me as open and safe as possible for others to be authentically themselves. The film industry is heavily dominated by men, and as a queer gender nonconforming person in film, I want to give a platform for those artistic voices that aren’t heard as often. And in dance, I want my classes and choreography to be fun and accessible to everyone, no matter your body shape, size, gender expression, or identity.