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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23rd

Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival

Friday, April 3, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Saturday, April 4, 7:30 PM, Edison State College

Monday, April 6, 7:00 PM, BIG ARTS, Sanibel

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Edison State College and BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island  will host the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival in Florida for a third 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 April 3, 2009 at the Estates, April 4, 2009, at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College, and April 6, 2009 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island.  Festival Director and Founder, John Columbus, will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  There will be more than thirty films shown between the three sites. 

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 45 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 Blvd., and BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel Island.    The cost is $7 per evening for adults, $5 for students.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on April 3 and Edison State College students are free on April 4.  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, BIG ARTS at www.bigarts.org and the Black Maria Film Festival at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org

On April 3rd the Estates will host the Festival along the Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Alee at the historic Ford Estate.  Viewers can enjoy popcorn and beverages under the night skies at “The Mangoes,” the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford.  Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:

Ichthyopolis – 9 min. by André Silva, Wilmington, NC Creative wizard André Silver has created a techno-animation wonderfully populated with a singing gold fish, an opera diva, claymation characters and watercolor washes in this digitally triumphant work.

Ice Bears of the Beaufort – 9 min. by Arthur C. Smith, Kaktovik, AL This exquisitely picturesque work picks up where “the March of the Penguins” left off.  Magnificent scenery and cinematography capture the lives of endearing and beautiful Polar Bears, parent and cubs in their natural habitat.

Les Chaises – 9 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY Sunlight is projected through wind swept leaves on red vinyl-padded folding chairs, a sleepy day in the country in upstate New York.

7 Days of the Week – 2.5  min. by Sean McBride and David Cowles, Brooklyn and Rochester, NY This wacky animation/music video employs inventive strategies to accompany music by “They Might Be Giants” the Grammy Award winning alternative rock band, also known for their childrens’ music. This spirited video is the second in the festival this year to feature the band.

Bob’s Knee – 4 min by Michael Attie, Menlo Park, CA. “How do we walk?”-  Frustrated by the fallibility or his joints, a home garage inventor employs unconventional methods to understand the mechanics of the human knee.  “Bob’s Knee” is a delightfully offbeat and appealing ditty for all ages. 

Davy Crockett in Outer Space – 2 min. by Ru Kuwahata, Brooklyn, NY Older “Baby Boomers” will remember the 1954 Disney TV mini-series “Davy Crockett” , the related raccoon hat craze, and the theme song which in this irreverent animated film is twisted into a anarchical, post modern send up of  popular culture by  with music by “They Might Be Giants” the Grammy award winning alternative rock band.

Hold the Soup, (Matso Ball Eating Competition) – 12 min. by Faye Lederman, Fort Lee, NJ It’s not the soup but the quality and size of the matzo balls that matters to the home cooks who supply this traditional Jewish staple to the contestants vying to be crowned as the world champion of  an unexpected culinary event.

Horizon Diner – 3 min.by Joseph Crockett, Philadelphia, PA Space and time fold in on each other in the intriguing digital animation in which a everyman character finds himself in a surreal, retro diner where the juke box shape shifts and propels the protagonist into mobius strip realm.

How to Disappear Without a Trace – 3 min. by Jane Steuerwald, Glen Rock, NJ A frolicsome work demonstrating magic feats, tricks, abracadabra, alchemy, and sleight of hand. Light hearted family footage is integrated with stop-frame animation and the staging of a magic show shot in an open field at the filmmaker’s retreat in upstate New York.

The Last Butcher in Little Italy – 5.5 min. by Laura Terruso, NY, This slice of life documentary provides an intimate and rewarding portrait of a true old guard tradesman who takes pride in his work and maintains his presence in his neighborhood despite the sea change in the community he has served for decades.

Film selections are subject to change. 

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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