Black Maria Festival of Short Films at Arts Foundation July 1

Jun 20, 2017

The 36th annual Black Maria Film Festival returns to the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences on Saturday, July 1 at 8 p.m. The program presents a collection of award-winning short films from the U.S. and around the world.

The categories include animation, experimental, documentary and narrative. This year, festival director Jane Steuerwald will present the films and be available for a question and answer session afterwards.

Since 1981, the Black Maria Film Festival has been celebrating and preserving the diversity, invention, and vitality of the short film. The Festival’s home is New Jersey City University in Jersey City, and is named after Thomas Edison’s original West Orange film studio dubbed “Black Maria” because of its resemblance to the black-box police paddy wagons of the same name.

Black Maria is an international juried film competition and presents works in all genres that sometimes push the boundaries of film.

Tickets are $10 and available at the door. The LBIF is located at 120 Long Beach Boulevard in Loveladies.

“We have embraced our mission for 35 years by focusing on short films including those which shine a light on issues and struggles within contemporary society,” writes Steuerwald. “Our touring programs always include provocative works. We advance and exhibit the work of diverse filmmakers from across the US and around the world. These artists often represent an under-served constituency who might not otherwise have the opportunity for live public exhibition nationwide or abroad. We welcome all genres including narrative, experimental, animation and documentary that push the boundaries of film.

“The festival’s touring collection addresses topics such as the environment, public health, climate change, substance abuse, gun violence, sustainability, immigration, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ issues. Short films are celebrated as central to the festival – not as a sidebar to feature length films.”

The traveling festival reaches as many as 60 venues, and luckily the Foundation is one of these. Bring a cushion for the folding chairs.

—P.J.

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