30 Annual Black Maria Film Festival to Florida

03/15/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
293-334-7419

Photo attachment: Black Maria Film Festival thirty year event returns to Southwest Florida; Black Maria at Estates March 18

5th Year International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

What: Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival
When: March 18, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates (rain date 3/20),
March 19, 7:30 PM, Edison State College,
March 21, 7:00 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel

FORT MYERS, FL(March 8, 2011 )- The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island will host the 30th annual Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a fifth season since the Festival began its national tour in 1981. The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates as well as indoors in the newly renovated Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College and the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island.

The award winning festival will be held on March 18, 2011 at the Estates; March 19, 2011 at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 21, 2011 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island. Black Maria Film Festival Director and Founder, John Columbus will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.

The Black Maria Film Festival, named after Thomas Edison’s first motion picture studio, honors Edison’s pioneering work in cinema. The Festival is hosted by museums and colleges throughout the country and showcases 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 Black Maria is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Academy Awards qualifying festival for short films.

Tickets may be bought in advance at the Estates, 2350 McGregor Boulevard; and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island. The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students. Estates Members are free on March 18 and Edison State College students are free on March 19. Seating is limited. For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the following websites: Edison & Ford Winter Estates at www.efwefla.org, Edison State College at www.edison.edu/artsedison/events.php BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org and the Black Maria Film Festival at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.

On March 18th the Estates will host the Festival along the Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Alee at the historic Ford Estate. This year the Estates is offering “Dinner and a Movie.” Viewers can enjoy a dinner under the night skies at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford, for an additional cost (reservations must be made in advance by calling the Estates 239-334-7419). In the event of rain the Festival will be held on March 20. Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:

CET AIR LA
3 min. (2010) by Marie Losier, Brooklyn, NY
JURORS’ CITATION SELECTION
This witty musical ditty features April March and Julien Gasc
performing a popular 1963 French while floating over a superimposed projection of clouds, birds, bubbles, whiffs of smoke and glitter.

MRS. BUCK IN HER PRIME
9.5 min. (2010) by James Franklin Gould, Washington, NC
JURORS’ CHOICE SELECTION
Mrs. Buck in Her Prime is a tender documentary portrait of a spirited 104 year old African American church pianist who, despite her physical frailties, carries on playing the piano with verve and vigor at services in her small hometown of Washington, North Carolina.

PINBURGH
5 min. (2010) by Doug Cooper, Pittsburgh, PA
JURORS’ CITATION SELECTION
Pinburgh is a highly inventive musical fantasy, combining live action and digital animation techniques set in Pittsburgh’s hilly industrial landscape. A live actor is seen dancing down a drawn set of steps and into a bar where a patron plays a game of pinball. As balls bounce out of the bar and about into the city, they activate drawings
which conjure up the perspectives of M.C. Escher yet retain an originality that reflects a quirky and witty sense of humor.

STANLEYPICKLE
11.33 min. (2010) Vicky Mather, Berkshire, England
JURORS’ CHOICE SELECTION
A comic “pixilated” live action animation in which the quirky main character, Stanley Pickle, a 20 year old never leaves the house where he lives with his parents. He likes to play with his clockwork toys and every night his mother kisses him goodnight. The trouble is that Stanley thinks this is all quite normal, until he spies a mysterious girl in the meadow outside his window. She turns his world upside down. The film premiered at the
Edinburgh Film Festival and was given the McLaren Award for New British Animation.

CYCLE OF LOVE
3.75 min. (2010) by Catherine Marshall, Providence, RI
This is a whimsical animation anthropomorphizes a child’s tricycle, endowing it with tender feelings for a grown up racing bicycle that’s way out of its league.

GRANDPA LOOKED LIKE WILLIAM POWELL
4.33 min. (2010) by David Levy, Brooklyn, NY
Sometimes a memento only reminds one of how little one knows of someone. What remains behind of a person’s life may tell a bit about the past but there’s a mystery to the discovery. When the animation artist came to possess his grandfather’s high school photo album/autograph book from 1924 the divide between the two generations became
very tangible. David Levy created this original work in which a sketchbook comes alive and questions surface about his grandfather’s world.

HOUSE BUNNY
1.50 min. (2010) Gina Kamentsky, Somerville, MA
A cut and paste audio assemblage by the Tape-beatles and several hundred feet of cast off movie trailers are the starting points for the lively and playful animated work House Bunny.

SWEET CLOVER, A HOMECOMING
17.25 min. (2010) by Jennifer Heuson, Brooklyn, NY
Employing Super-8 film, archival photos, audio recordings and personal voice over, Sweet Clover is an evocative, lyrical portrait of a granddaughter and grandfather and their shared obsession with the American West, an obsession interwoven with issues related to the filmmaker’s mixed-blood heritage. This poignant memoir piece traces a quest to find a cultural home in landscapes such as those of The Black Hills of South Dakota and includes visits and/or references to issues related to Native American homelands and locales.

LA PREMIERE
20 min. (2009) by Nick and Michael Regalbuto, New York, NY
People’s Choice Selection
The late 1800’s were a time of invention and exploration. Science, chemistry and ingenuity were rapidly changing the way people lived. La Premiere is a recreation, a photoplay, of the race between Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers. The brothers, Auguste and Louis dreamt of projecting movies large enough on a screen to be seen by groups of people all at once and Edison was out maneuvered in this recreation even as his electric light bulb was key to the Lumiere’s success in this engaging re-creation narrated by actor James Earl Jones.

NEW LONDON CALLING
10 min. (2010) by Alla Kovgan, Somerville, MA
New London Calling is zestful urban dance film shot on location in New London, Connecticut. A tribe of 75 young people take over the entire city, playing their games, running, jumping, simply being exuberant. Their vibrant spirit is uplifting and brings fresh, youthful vitality to an otherwise drab city.

TRANSFORMATIONS ON BARTOK
1 min. (2010) by Stephen Campbell, Lancaster, PA
This delightful work is a drawn interpretation of the music of the Béla Bartøk.

March 19th at Edison State College, Fort Myers films to be screened include:

THE STITCHES SPEAK
12 min (2009) by Nina Sabnani, Mumbai, India
ANIMATION SELECTION
Fabric art graces this intriguing animation/documentary tracing Kutch artisans’ journeys between Pakistan and India in the forming of the Kala Raksha Trust and School for Design. The women’s appliqués and embroideries reveal a powerful narrative as this visually rich work unfolds.

MRS. BUCK IN HER PRIME
9.5 min. (2010) by James Franklin Gould, Washington, NC
JURORS’ CHOICE SELECTION
Mrs. Buck in Her Prime is a tender documentary portrait of a spirited 104 year old African American church pianist who, despite her physical frailties, carries on playing the piano with verve and vigor at services in her small hometown of Washington, North Carolina.

PINBURGH
5 min. (2010) by Doug Cooper, Pittsburgh, PA
JURORS’ CITATION SELECTION
Pinburgh is a highly inventive musical fantasy, combining live action and digital animation techniques set in Pittsburgh’s hilly industrial landscape. A live actor is seen dancing down a drawn set of steps and into a bar where a patron plays a game of pinball. As balls bounce out of the bar and about into the city, they activate drawings
which conjure up the perspectives of M.C. Escher yet retain an originality that reflects a quirky and witty sense of humor.

CHAINSAW
24 min. (2007) by Dennis Tupicoff, St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia
A most unusual “mature” animation, Chainsaw starts with a pseudo 1980s safety training film with lumberjack Frank. The cheesy soundtrack and seemingly disjunctive, parallel story lines gradually congeal into a tour de force of rogue humor about a wayward wife and husband Frank’s solution. Among other honors, this film and the artist were featured in a retrospective at the 2010 Animator Festival in Poznån, Poland.

HAIL
3 min. (2010) by Emily Hubley, South Orange, NJ
This whimsical hand drawn animation is based on a song composed and performed by the musician Hamell on Trial. Hubley’s art illustrates the song about three hate-crime victims who meet up in heaven. This lyrical piece was created as
part of a documentary by Vic Campos about the song’s composer.

JUST ABOUT FAMOUS
14.50 min. (2009) by Jason Kovalsev and Matt Mamula, c/o Blue Collar Films, Los Angeles, CA
Is that actually Robert DeNiro doing a sort of standup routine about the hassles of being recognized? Celebrity lookalikes for Oprah, Whoopie Goldberg, Sarah Palin, Britney Spears, Robin Williams, Dame Edna, President Obama and George Bush and Elvis populate this spoof-like documentary.

March 21st at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island films to be screen include:

LA PREMIERE
20 min. (2009) by Nick and Michael Regalbuto, New York, NY
People’s Choice Selection
The late 1800’s were a time of invention and exploration. Science, chemistry and ingenuity were rapidly changing the way people lived. La Premiere is a recreation, a photoplay, of the race between Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers. The brothers, Auguste and Louis dreamt of projecting movies large enough on a screen to be seen by groups of people all at once and Edison was out maneuvered in this recreation even as his electric light bulb was key to the Lumiere’s success in this engaging re-creation narrated by actor James Earl Jones.

LETTERS HOME
9 min. (2010) by Melissa Hacker, New York, NY
A telling documentary, Letters Home was created around letters written by the filmmakers great-aunt, Freda who during 1945-46 Freda traveled through Germany and Austria as a member of the Women’s Army Corps. of the U.S. military.

URVA
12.75 min. (2010) by Emre Ozdemir, Philadelphia, PA
This is a poetic documentary shot in the remote village of Urva in Kastamonu, Turkey, near the Black Sea and the native land of the filmmaker. The town is part of a culture than may soon be lost, one that doesn’t fit with present day Turkey nor the global economy in general. The filmmaker’s grandfather is the main subject of the film, who is living close to the land in a vanishing tradition that young people have abandoned.

THE STITCHES SPEAK
12 min (2009) by Nina Sabnani, Mumbai, India
ANIMATION SELECTION
Fabric art graces this intriguing animation/documentary tracing Kutch artisans’ journeys between Pakistan and India in the forming of the Kala Raksha Trust and School for Design. The women’s appliqués and embroideries reveal a powerful narrative as this visually rich work unfolds.

MRS. BUCK IN HER PRIME
9.5 min. (2010) by James Franklin Gould, Washington, NC
JURORS’ CHOICE SELECTION
Mrs. Buck in Her Prime is a tender documentary portrait of a spirited 104 year old African American church pianist who, despite her physical frailties, carries on playing the piano with verve and vigor at services in her small hometown of Washington, North Carolina.

STANLEYPICKLE
11.33 min. (2010) Vicky Mather, Berkshire, England
JURORS’ CHOICE SELECTION
A comic “pixilated” live action animation in which the quirky main character, Stanley Pickle, a 20 year old never leaves the house where he lives with his parents. He likes to play with his clockwork toys and every night his mother kisses him goodnight. The trouble is that Stanley thinks this is all quite normal, until he spies a mysterious girl in the meadow outside his window. She turns his world upside down. The film premiered at the
Edinburgh Film Festival and was given the McLaren Award for New British Animation.

HAIL
3 min. (2010) by Emily Hubley, South Orange, NJ
This whimsical hand drawn animation is based on a song composed and performed by the musician Hamell on Trial. Hubley’s art illustrates the song about three hate-crime victims who meet up in heaven. This lyrical piece was created as part of a documentary by Vic Campos about the song’s composer.

JUST ABOUT FAMOUS
14.50 min. (2009) by Jason Kovalsev and Matt Mamula, c/o Blue Collar Films, Los Angeles, CA
Is that actually Robert DeNiro doing a sort of standup routine about the hassles of being recognized? Celebrity lookalikes for Oprah, Whoopie Goldberg, Sarah Palin, Britney Spears, Robin Williams, Dame Edna, President Obama and George Bush and Elvis populate this spoof-like documentary.

Film selections are subject to change and some films may be shown at all three venues.

In 1892 the world’s first motion picture studio was built by Thomas Edison and nicknamed the Black Maria. The studio has become an emblem of the exploratory spirit in film which the Festival celebrates. The Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival celebrates Edison’s pioneering contributions to the film industry.

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The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Estates 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.efwefla.org.

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