The Black Maria Film Festival returns for a seventh season at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, November 1, 2013 and November 2 at Edison State College, Richard H. Rush Library and Auditorium. The Film Festival is an international, award-winning festival that has toured the nation for 32 years showcasing independent and experimental film and video. The films include a variety of contemporary works drawn from the annual juried selection of award-winning films and videos.
The Festival is named after the world’s first motion picture studio built by Thomas Edison where he made his own short experimental films. “Many people are unaware of Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s contributions to the motion picture industry,” says Chris Pendleton, Edison Ford president & CEO. “Bringing the Festival to our community celebrates the motion picture legacy of Edison and Ford, as well as supporting the innovative spirit of contemporary filmmakers.”
Initially inspired by devices like the Zoopraxiscope, designed by Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, Edison set out to create a device which would do “for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.” Edison began working on this device, which he called the Kinetoscope, in 1888, and public demonstrations soon followed. In 1893, Edison opened the Black Maria, the world’s first motion picture studio. The hundreds of short films created in this small studio signalled the beginning of the motion picture industry.
Edison continued to innovate for several decades introducing early sound movies and released the groundbreaking film, The Great Train Robbery in 1903. This year the Festival will kick off with the showing of Edison’s 1910 Frankenstein, the first motion picture adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with comments from Dr. Wendy Chase, Professor of Humanities, Edison State College.
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, please call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.