The Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival returns to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates on November 1 outdoors on the riverside lawn of the Ford Estate, and then moves to the auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College on November 2.
The Black Maria Film Festival is an award-winning international film festival that has toured the nation for 32 years. Hosted primarily by museums and colleges, the independent and experimental productions showcased by the festival include a variety of contemporary works drawn from an annual juried selection of award-winning films and videos. The Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival for short films.
A special screening of Thomas Edison’s 1910 film Frankenstein and discussion by Dr. Wendy Chase, Professor of Humanities, Edison State College will kick off the festival on November 1. Other selections that will be aired at the Edison Ford Estates on November 1 will include:
Fordland, Jeffrey Moser, Lancaster, PA, Director’s Choice Selection
This experimental film gazes at automation, industry, and American culture. By manipulating appropriated 16mm footage from a vintage Ford corporation industrial film, the image is constructed from hundreds of frames inspired by some of the work of the legendary late 1800s photographer Eadweard Muybridge.
The Poetry Winner, Jennifer Levonian, Philadelphia, PA, Director’s Choice Selection
This animated film is based on an epiphany in a college student’s life. The semester has ended and it is time to go home for the summer and deal with parental meddling versus self-actualization. The mixed-media technique of this short film makes for an engaging work of animation art.
And/Or, Emily Hubley, South Orange, NJ, Director’s Choice Selection
And/Or is a distinctive animated work made in a tender, elegantly laconic, hand drawn style. An artist struggling to balance doubt and inspiration shares his poetic deliberations with an inner/outer muse.
Here and Away, Meena Nanji, Santa Monica, CA, Juror’s Stellar Narrative Selection
Here and Away is a magical film shot in India as inspired by a short story by Franz Kafka entitled Children on a Country Road. Kafka's story describes a day in the life of a boy living in the countryside. In Nanji's film, Ravi is found lying in the grass contemplating the sky and the mystery of nature. He is aware of changing times and the possibilities of the future. In the evening an older companion and Ravi gaze at the distant city lights on the horizon and muse about those who dwell there, questioning with wonder in moments of becoming.
Lionfish Delusion (El delirio del pez león), Quique Rivera Rivera, San Juan, PR, Juror’s Stellar Animation
This is an imaginative underwater neo-noir and colorful animation inspired by the Lionfish plague. Fishes dream, lobster claws trans-mutate and the sea swirls in a story about greed and hierarchy in the Caribbean reefs.
Nile Perch, Josh Gibson, Durham, NC, Juror’s Stellar Award for Documentary
In flickering black and white, Nile Perch is a luminous, picturesque documentary filmed on the shores of legendary Lake Victoria in Uganda. This hand-made, artisanal film is not only a beautifully made work, with close-up portraiture of a lakeside village and its people's daily lives as they follow their scenic tradition of net fishing, drying and roasting; but it's also a modern-day parable of the effects of globalization on Africa. Nile Perch offers a captivating insight into a people who are in harmony with nature, yet the film is equally a meditation on the economic and ecological impact of an invasive species on traditional cultures.
The Lost Interview of Ray Bradbury, Harry Hall, Los Angeles, CA, Director's Choice Selection
This is a personal tribute to the sci-fi/fantasy author who died on June 5th 2012. Shot over 20 years ago in the basement/office of Ray Bradbury's home, the footage has been re-edited using HD stock footage to illustrate the author's droll reflections. His views on creativity, Steven Spielberg, the notorious Black List and politics of the 1950s and a skewering indictment of networks make for an entertaining as well as curiously reconstructed interview film.
Queen of the Night Aria, Harry Hall, Los Angeles, CA, Director's Choice Selection
An aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute is parodied in this outlandish parody of a classic. This version utilizes puppetry, absurdist subtitles and sound effects to create a flamboyantly humorous animation.
Films are subject to change. John Columbus Founder and Director, Black Maria Film Festival will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.
Tickets are available at the Edison Ford ticket office located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers. Cost: November 1 - Edison Ford Members and Students $5, non-members $8; November 2 - General Public $8, Edison State College Students free; $15 for both nights. For more information and updates, please visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estates website at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.
The Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Edison Ford is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.