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Black Maria Film and Video Festival

A diverse lineup of short films from the acclaimed Black Maria Film and Video Festival will be shown at the Main Library on Saturday, May 17, starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

All films are appropriate for teens and adults. These exceptional works range from comedy to drama and are the heart and soul of the festival. There will be two programs with a brief intermission and time for questions. For more information, call Sophie Young at 256-532-2362.

Program 1

Saturday May 17, 2014 • 1:00pm
Running time: 60 minutes

Every Day is a Holiday – Jury’s Stellar Award
57 min. by Theresa Loong, New York, NY.

Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father's past. One day, she discovered his secret diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make 'every day a holiday' if he survived. “Every Day is a Holiday” tells the painful but life-affirming story of her father's unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him:  the United States.  Using intimate conversations, rare archival footage and his wartime diary, the film traces how, through sheer strength of will, Paul Loong overcomes the horrors of war and obstacles as an immigrant.

Theresa Loong is an award-winning multimedia artist, filmmaker, interactive media professional and educator whose work has been exhibited at the SVA, Sala de Exposiciones, Teriennale di Milano and Circulo de Bellas Artes.

Program 2

Saturday May 17, 2014 • 2:30pm
Running time: 64.5 minutes

Little Block of Cement with Disheveled Hair Containing the Sea - Jury’s Choice
15.5 min. by Jorge Lopez Navarrete, Barcelona, Spain.
A German shepherd dog and an adventurous mare embark upon a voyage together. With every step they take, the differences between them become clearer, and yet there is a profound connection and mutual knowledge developed over time.  Invoking the spiritual and aesthetic style of Robert Bresson, this powerful film celebrates the luminous connections between horse and dog without one word of dialog.

Salmon Deadly Sins - Jury’s Choice
7 min. by Steven Vander Meer, Arcata, CA.

Five thousand salmon colored index cards, the seven deadly sins, bizarre anagrams and a host of serendipitous occurrences mingle in the artist's imagination and emerge as “Salmon Deadly Sins.” With music by Leftover Salmon, this flipbook style film is a moving drawing; each frame was created individually, by hand, on a 3x5 inch index card.  Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath are the inspiration for each chapter in this ingenious animation.

A World of Difference – Directors’ Choice
8 min. by Gerald Guthrie, Urbana, IL.

A digital animation that moves along a bumpy path through space and time, to discover truth, perfection and meaning. This enigmatic piece sets the stage for such a discovery by presenting unique machines that produce philosophical solutions on demand. These findings arm the central character with the knowledge needed to traverse a challenging path leading to an extraordinarily large microscope. The synchronicity of various worlds is revealed therein.

Globe Trot - Directors’ Choice
4.5 min. by Mitchell Rose, Worthington, OH.

An international, crowd-sourced, dance-film project.  Fifty-four filmmakers on all seven continents each contribute two seconds of movement orchestrated by renowned choreographer Bebe Miller.

Strange Wonderful – Jury’s Choice
4.5 min. by Stephanie Swart, Brooklyn, NY.

In this unconventional, quirky animated piece, Little Monster goes to school. She thinks, 'They probably call me snail face when I'm not around.'  Sometimes she is lonely, but she begins to find happiness as she learns to accept being different.

Sidewalk - Jury’s Citation
4 min. by Celia Bullwinkel, Brooklyn, NY.

A woman walks through life, but her real journey is deep within as she confronts her changing body and learns to love herself.

Sleight of Hand  - Directors’ Choice
10 min. by Michael Cusack, Adelaide, Australia.

Sleight of hand refers to skill in feats requiring quick and clever movements of the hands, especially for entertainment or deception, as in juggling, and card or coin magic, and with the intent to trick or deceive. “Sleight of Hand” is a stop-motion animated film about illusions. A man yearns to know his place in the world and how he fits in, when sometimes it's better not to know.

Virtuous Virtuell – Jury’s Citation
7.5 min. by Thomas Stellmach, Hessen, Germany.

Hand crafted ink drawings inspired by the overture of the opera, “The Alchymist,” by Louis Spohr, serve as basis for this animation. The drawings play on the threshold between the figurative and abstract, thus allowing for a wide range of associations to form. Synchronized to the music, they grow and change. The drawings take on the characteristics and moods of the music and take the viewer on a journey into a musical world of pictures.

Wise Choice or Lucky Guess - Directors’ Choice
3.5 min. by Ellen Raines, Fox Point, WI.

A recently deceased man has to make a choice between heaven and hell, while sitting on an escalator.

To find out more about Black Maria, visit:
Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium

The Black Maria Film and Video Festival is made possible in part by:

NJ City University, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, NJ State Council on the Arts, Discover New Jersey Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs, and personal donations from host sites and viewers like you.

Monday, May 5, 2014 (All day) to Saturday, May 17, 2014 (All day)