Created by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and supported by the French Ministry of Culture, Villa Albertine offers a novel artists’ residency model in which residents choose the location best suited to their work within the host country. With a permanent presence in 10 major US cities, it aims to foster in-depth exploratory residencies for artists, thinkers, and culture professionals hailing from all creative disciplines. In its inaugural year, Villa Albertine will host 80 residents for one- to three-month customized residencies.
Powered by a team of 80 people in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., Villa Albertine actively supports the endeavors of French cultural actors across the country through a bold and nimble program, in close collaboration with leading American cultural organizations.
Kaouther Ben Hania's residency has been coordinated in partnership with camera company Snap Inc. and the Institut du monde arabe in Paris. During her time in the US, Ben Hania will be working on her latest project, the sci-fi film Hapax, which is set in a world in which a general AI has enslaved humanity. As a participant in the Residency, Ben Hania was allowed to choose her location and she chose California, which is a double win, as both the birthplace of AI and the heart of the American cinema industry. She'll spend time meeting with physicists and IT experts in Silicon Valley to build the most plausible structure for her story, as well as with set designers, costume designers, and SFX artists in Los Angeles to see how the story elements can be translated on-screen.
Ben Hania's previous films include Beauty and the Dogs, which world premiered in Cannes, in 2017 and The Man Who Sold His Skin, which after premiering at the Venice Film Festival in 2020, was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards in 2021.
To find out more about Villa Albertine and their Residency programmes, check out their website.