The Tuba Thieves

92 mins.
Directed by Alison O’Daniel

Director Alison O'Daniel joins us in person for a post-screening conversation. ASL interpretation will be provided during this discussion.

This screening is free to Amherst Cinema Members.

A spate of robberies in Southern California schools had an oddly specific target: tubas. In this work of creative nonfiction, d/Deaf first-time feature director Alison O’Daniel presents the impact of these crimes from an unexpected angle.

Blending documentary and fictionalized performances and set to an L.A. landscape/soundscape never quite seen before, this film explores a dimensional experience of deafness and reorients the audience auditorily in an unfamiliar and exhilarating way.

This screening will be presented with Open Captioning, and Descriptive Audio headsets will be available.

Additionally, balloons will be handed out to hold during the screening. The latex membrane of the balloon is another form of access—a second speaker—for the audience to feel the soundtrack. Sound waves travel through the air into the surface of the balloon, enabling the audience to access a huge range of vibrations, from the tiny sensitive sounds to deeper sub-bass frequencies. We encourage everyone in the audience, d/Deaf and hearing, to hold balloons if they want to. This is a throwback to the tradition of Deaf movie goers who would gather in Deaf clubs in the 1950’s and 60’s and hold balloons while watching movies together.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit