The Wild One

Director and Producer Tessa Louise Salomé, Co-Producer Joslyn Barnes
The Wild One


The Wild One traces the story of an unsung artist Jack Garfein, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the U.S. as an orphaned teenager and became a successful Broadway director, Hollywood filmmaker, and co-founder of Actors Studio West. Layer by layer, the film uncovers the traumas beneath his precocious career – from the rise of anti-Semitism in his native Czechoslovakia to the separation from his family in Auschwitz. It reveals how his experience of the concentration camps drove his engagement as a director with critical social issues that challenged Hollywood censorship, including racial segregation, rape, homosexuality, and the cult of the military in postwar America. Weaving innovative visual motifs together with 75 years’ worth of Garfein’s personal archives, The Wild One explores the mind, work, and influence of an artist who devoted his craft to transforming traumatic experience and channeled his memories to illuminate society in the present.

This project was selected to participate in the JSP-Good Docs Education-Impact Program. To learn more about screening opportunities, click here. 

Phase of Support: Post-Production

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Tessa Louise Salomé

Tessa Louise Salomé - Director and Producer

Tessa Louise Salomé is an award-nominated director and producer and co-founder of the Paris-based company Petite Maison Production (2006). She has attracted critical attention  for her poetic documentary portraits of artists. Competing at Sundance, her film Mr. X: A Vision of Leos Carax (2014) screened at numerous international festivals. Her documentary on  director Xavier Dolan, Once Upon a Time…Mommy (2017), was aired on the European culture channel ARTE.

Salomé has also produced and art-directed a number of festival films in collaboration with acclaimed performers and installation artists: Sébastien Tellier (Many Lives, 2020), Anish Kapoor (Under the Skin, 2019), and Cindy Sherman (Prima Donna, 2015). She has equally dedicated her efforts to politically engaged works, producing the gay rights activism documentary and Cannes nominee Illegal Love (2011), a forthcoming French-Mongolian feature documentary Colors of White Rock, and the next installation of Nicolas Premier’s transmedia film series Africa is the Future (2021).

Joslyn Barnes

Joslyn Barnes - Co-Producer

Joslyn Barnes is a producer. Among the films she has been involved with producing since co-founding Louverture Films are: documentaries Trouble the Water; Black Power Mixtape; The House I Live In; Strong Island; Hale County This Morning, This Evening; Aquarela; Gunda; President; and the forthcoming Chocobar. Among the narratives are Bamako; Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives; Cemetery of Splendour; White Sun; Zama, Capernaum, In Between Dying and the forthcoming Memoria, Noche de Fuego and La Memoria del Monte. In 2017, Barnes was the recipient of both the Cinereach Producer Award and the Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producer Award. In 2010, 2018 and 2019 she was nominated for Emmy Awards, and in 2018 won the Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. In 2018 and 2019 Barnes earned Oscar nominations for Best Documentary Feature.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.