From the Executive Director, Jane SteuerwaldAs we embark upon the 33rd annual festival tour of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival, I am proud to have the opportunity to showcase the work of so many gifted, creative, and visionary film and videomakers.
This season we received extraordinary work from across the United States and the world including Canada, Germany, Poland, Spain, Cypress, Greece, Brazil, France, South Korea, the Netherlands, the UK, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, and from right here in our own backyard, the home of the festival, Jersey City, NJ.
Since 1981, the mission of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium - the Black Maria Film and Video Festival, has been to promote, illuminate, and advocate innovation in the art of the moving image. The consortium has passionately embraced this mission for over thirty years.
We focus on diverse short films - narrative, experimental, animation, and documentary - including those, which address issues and struggles within contemporary society. These exceptional works, ranging from comedy to drama to the exploration of pure form in film and video, are the heart and soul of the Black Maria.
We have all heard the clichés and assumptions often made about filmmakers working in the short form. Most typical is that the work is meant to be a "calling card" primarily to gain access to the world of commercial feature length film. Not true for the filmmakers who continue to push the boundaries of the moving image and who have exhibited their work for decades in the Black Maria. We appreciate and celebrate the short form in all its permutations for its artistic challenges, aesthetics, and substance.
My sincere thanks to our jurors, trustees, sponsors, donors, supporters, volunteers, and most importantly to the artists who continue to inspire us.
From the Founder and Director Emeritus, John ColumbusThe Black Maria film studio was the world's first purpose built motion picture studio. It was erected in 1893 by Thomas Edison to facilitate the production of the earliest moving images known to exist. Edison's motion picture technology allowed previously unimagined expressive possibilities and freed creative individuals to interpret and represent, and audiences to experience the world as never before. It is this pioneering and adventuresome spirit of innovation, and the pursuit of fresh, bold, insightful, passionate, and diverse independent filmmaking that drives the Festival's mission.
We welcome the opportunity to share the works in every festival tour with audiences across the country, and earnestly thank all of the independent film and videomakers who have shared their creative output with us over three decades.
We are indebted to our longstanding, as well as our new host institutions and sponsors. Without your resources, facilities, and generous support - the Festival could not exist.
Each year, we publish a monograph to accompany the program notes found in our festival tour catalog. Our aim is to make a contribution to the body of thought on film, video, media, aesthetics, politics, and exhibition.