Luke Stergiou / Equinox Staff

Benajil Rai

Multimedia Director

The Keene State Film Department invited guest speaker Rossella Catanese from Italy to speak about the Futuristic movement or avant-garde movement of 1910 within cinema in Italian cinema.

Dr. Catanese is researcher of film history and a  professor of Italian Cinema and Society at Lorenzo de’ Medici institute in Florence. She is also a teacher of the master’s course in Digital Audiovisual Restoration at Sapienza University of Rome.

Catanese said she was very happy and excited to be at Keene State College. “It is a wonderful environment. I’m enjoying so much all the people that I met,” said Catanese.

KSC senior and film studies major Rachel Maragnano said, “I think it was a really great opportunity to have a professor come from a school that we do have students studying abroad at and give them an opportunity for the ones that don’t get to study abroad, to learn about a different culture…”

Maragnano also said  Catanese got the opportunity to teach an hour of a class on ‘A Film Theory.’ “She kind of got to share her experience in the Italian realm of cinema with students here. That makes the opportunity to reconnect with her in the future or [they get] that opportunity now,” said Maragnano.

A junior film studies and graphic design major Corinn Colford said she really enjoyed the talk. “It definitely gave me a new perspective on things… And she showed some graphic design pieces too,” said Colford.

An adjunct film department Professor Emeritus Dr. Larry Benaquist showed disappointment at seeing a lack of students attending the talk.

“…I have a class of 22 freshmen in film history, maybe three would come… They don’t take advantage of what Keene has to offer. Go to Dartmouth, to an event like this, where thousands of people would come, I know, I bet.  Here you are lucky to get 20,” said Benaquist. “But I saw some of my students here tonight, some of my best students in class were sitting there and I was impressed, I’m glad that they were there.”

Maragnano said, “I think it went very well. A lot of people asked very good questions, they were very involved, many people stayed to talk to her after which is a very good sign. And the topic isn’t one that we get to go over in depth in our classes. So it was a great opportunity to do that.”

The event was sponsored by The Global Education Office and Citizenship Speakers Grant and was organized by Maragnano and Benaquist.

Maragnano said she met Catanese when she went to study away in Florence during the 2018 spring semester. “She was my Italian professor for cinema and society and I just thought that she was such a force in the classroom that having her come to Keene would be amazing,” Said Maragnano.

Benaquist said film is an international language.

“Students go to Florence and Rome to study and now they have a connection. So, I was thinking about the future of our students.” Benaquist said.

He also said the KSC film studies program is a thriving program. Benaquist said,“We are little known, but a very strong film program. And we need more outreach or we become shrunken. And that was my thinking. So I was glad that we were able to bring her here.”

Benajil Rai can be contacted at

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