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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for March, 2010

NEW Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 30th

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Open Easter Sunday
Canned Food Drive – April 2, 3, 4
NEW Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers 

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates located at 2350 McGregor Boulevard, will be open Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM.  Tickets are available until 4:30 PM for self guided tours.  Estates members are admitted free and there are several reciprocal admission programs. 

In addition, Estates members, staff and visitors are encouraged to make canned food donations to support the Community Cooperative Ministries (CCMI) www.ccmileecounty.com in Fort Myers.  Visitors to the Estates throughout the weekend will receive a $1 off an Estates admission ticket (up to $4) for every can of food they donate.  CCMI has been providing food to the homeless, nearly homeless, homebound, seniors and children for 26 years in Lee County.

Easter weekend also kicks-off the Estates newest program, Horse & Wagon Tours of Historic Downtown Fort Myers.  On Wednesday, March 31 – Saturday, April 3 at 11 AM and 2 PM visitors can enjoy a horse and wagon tour that begins at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and countinues along the Caloosahatchee River through downtown Fort Myers.  The tour is approximately one hour and is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under.  The Horse & Wagon Tours will continue to run weekly Wednesday – Saturday at 11 AM and 2 PM throughout the summer.  Tour tickets can be purchased at the Estates ticket office.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs – April 2010

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23rd

April at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with a National Arbor Day Celebration; the continuation of Sneak Peek Tours; and a new community initiative, a Canned Food Drive Easter weekend, as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month.  The April schedule of programs and events include:

• Estates Open Easter Weekend, April 2, 3, & 4, 9 AM – 5:30 PM

• Registration for Edison & Ford Winter Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp
The Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp is back again this year and the Wild Wizard is here all summer long.  Camp begins on June 7, 2010 and runs through August 20, 2010.  Camps are open for grades 1 – 6 and sessions are separated by grade levels.  Campers will make movies, become science detectives, launch objects into orbit, construct bridges and animate their own short films.  Registration forms are available on line at http://www.efwefla.org/pdfs/Summercamp2010.pdf or are available at the EstatesEstates Members $200; non members $230.  For more information on specific topics, dates and times contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419.
 
•  Sneak Peek Tours  Every Thursday, year round,  10:30 AM – 1 PM
Behind-the-scenes tours inside the Edison and Ford homes open to the public and Estates members.  These unique tours are offered at no cost to Estates members and $40 for non members.  In addition, lunch will be served in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House following the tour for $15 per person.  Due to the intimate nature of “Sneak Peek Tours”, space is limited and registration is required. 

• Estates Canned Food Drive, April 2, 3, & 4
Staff, members and visitors to the Estates are encouraged to make canned food donations to support the Community Cooperative Ministries in Fort Myers (CCMI).  Visitors to the Estates throughout the weekend will receive a $1 off an Estates admission ticket (up to four dollars) for every can of food they donate.  CCMI has been providing food to the homeless, nearly homeless, homebound, seniors and children for twenty six years in Lee County.  

• New Volunteer Orientation, April 13, 10 AM
Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all new Estates volunteers but potential volunteers are welcome. 

• Docent Training, April 22, 9AM
New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch docents, Lab and Museum docents, or group tour docents of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.

• Home Schoolers:  “Ford Aerodynamics & Flight,” April 23, 1 PM – 3 PM
In addition to cars, Henry Ford built airplanes.  Home schooled students will study the history of science and flight. The programs follow the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration is required.  Cost:  Estates Members $5; non-members $15 (one adult, one child), additional $5 per child.

• National Arbor Day Celebration, April 23, 9 AM
In observance of National Arbor Day the public is invited to join the Estates in planting a tree on the Estates grounds with students from a local school.  In addition, the public can support the Estates Tree Planting Program by contributing funds to purchase a tree.  The Estates will assist with selecting a plant or tree and does not accept gifts of live plants or trees however donors can be involved in a planting ceremony.   

• Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens, May 9, 11 AM
Celebrate your Mom with a delectable brunch at the Estates.  The diverse menu will please every member of your family.  Leave time to enjoy the historical ambience and create treasured memories with a tour of the historic homes, gardens and Museum.  Ticket price includes brunch, an Estates tour and a special gift for Mom.  Registration required.  Estates Members, adults $30, children ages 4 – 12 and $12; non members adults $35, children ages 4 -12 and under $15; children 3 and under FREE.

• Destination Preservation, 32nd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference, May 12 – 14, Sanibel Harbour Marriot Resort and Spa
The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Annual Statewide Preservation Conference kicks off on May 12, 2010. Showcasing Lee County, the conference will offer workshops, tours and special events designed to teach participants how historic preservation can play a key role in conserving national resources. To register, call (850) 224-8128. To download the conference program, visit http://www.floridatrust.org/news/373.  For information about the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, please visit www.floridatrust.org.

Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 20th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates was awarded a grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation during its Major Annual Grant Cycle (2009-2010) to implement the Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program in southwest Florida.  On March 26, 2010, 1 PM, the Estates Wild Wizards Outreach Program will visit Tice Elementary School, one of over 70 schools and youth centers in Lee, Glades, Collier, Charlotte and Hendry Countries that have been funded for the outreach science program.

The Estates Wild Wizard Outreach Program is presented by Estates staff and is approximately an hour in length with follow up classroom and home study activities.  In 2008 – 2009 the Estates visited 47 schools, performed 52 shows for 13,735 students throughout Lee County. The Grant from the Southwest Community Foundation has made it possible for outreach programs throughout southwest Florida.

“The project has clearly shown the importance of working with regional schools to provide curriculum-based, hands-on science programming that helps interpret the work of the two famous inventors and their winter homes, laboratory and research gardens,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Students are engaged in the contemporary theatre style presentations of science that characterized the project and tie them to examples of scientific method and specific inventions.” 

The focus of this year’s program is “Henry Ford:  Innovation, Invention and Green Science Wizard.”  The objectives of the program include engaging students in learning and experiencing basic science concepts through hands-on demonstration science.  The program enables students to learn about the basic elements of scientific inquiry, the scientific method, the nature of invention and how science has moved mankind forward.  The program creates an environment where students will “have fun while learning” as well as challenging students to read and explore more through follow up activities in their classrooms and at home. 

“The mathematics, science and reading skills ability of southwest Florida students are a primary focus of the schools and families in the community,” says Pendleton. “School budgets are particularly challenged at this time.  There is a need to offer assistance to remedy this situation for our young students and create a learning opportunity which will encourage them to learn and grow.”

Although only a few years established as a non-profit institution, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates has initiated new programs and educational activity including the Estates Wild Wizards Outreach Programs, monthly Estates Homes School programs, Edison & Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp, scholarships, adult education, horticultural workshops, and a variety of events and programs.   For more information on the Estates educational programs contact the Estates education coordinator at 239-334-7419.

Dinner & the Movies – at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 20th

Black Maria Film Festival 2010

 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 fourth season.  The award winning festival will be held on March 26, 2010, 7:30 PM at the Estates; March 27, 2010, 7:30 PM at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 29, 2010, 7:00 PM at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island. 

The Festival has the added attraction of being shown outdoors in the gardens of the Estates and this year the Estates is kicking off Dinner & the Movies.  Moviegoers can enjoy a meal, as they enjoy the beautiful sunset along the Caloosahatchee River, and watch a series of award winning films and videos.  The entire evening will cost $9.50 for Estates members and $16.50 for non members and includes Dinner & the Movies.

Dinner will be served on the historic grounds of the Ford Estate and include a choice of a pulled pork sandwich, two sides (potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw), soft drink and jumbo cookie for $9.50 per person or a hot dog, soft drink and jumbo cookie for $7.75 per person.  Beer and wine will be available at an additional cost and popcorn is FREE. 

Dinner will begin at 6 PM and reservations are required by calling the Estates at 239-334-7419.  Seating is limited.

Tickets for the Black Maria Film Festival 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.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  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.

Art in Bloom

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 9th

 

On Sunday, March 7, 2010, three designers were presented with People’s Choice Awards for their winning floral designs at Art in Bloom  at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.  Debbie Hughes received First Place; Ena McGrattan received Second Place; and Suzy Valentine received Third Place.  Estates president & CEO, Chris Pendleton and Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council president, Mitzie Marckesano presented the awards. 

 

Winners of the Peoples Choice Award: Suzy Valentine, Debbie Hughes, and Ena McGrattan

 

Art in Bloom, a collaborative project of the Estates and the Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council, combined art work with floral design. Floral Designers included:  Glenda Campbell, Lois Gressman, Judy Gore, Debbie Hughes, Sandy Kavouras, Theo Kavouras, Betty Mazzarella, Ena McGrattan, Brenda Norris, Jan Padgett, Chris Pendleton, Gloria Freitas Steidinger, Winnie Stone, Darlene Thompkins, Suzy Valentine, and Nancy Wheeler.

The following artists were inspiration for the floral designs:  Manfred Behr, Edison Botanic Research Lab and Edison Estate Banyan Tree; Augusta Crane, ceramic flower sconce; James DiGiorgio, Born of Fire; Pat Dunne, Sea Grapes; Marie Dyer, Parrot;  Karen Flanders, Dot Heart;  Kim Hambor, Edison Estate Bamboo Leaves and Edison Family Collage;  Leoma Lovegrove, Sea Tow and Firebird; Nadine Miller, Banana Leaf;  Bill North, Edison Seminole Lodge; Ellen Sheppard, Golden Sawgrass; Southwest Florida Quilters Guild, and Barbara Yeomans.

“The floral designs were spectacular,” said Pendleton.  “Nearly 300 ballots were cast from members of the Estates, Garden Clubs and visitors.  The exhibit was a huge success and the Estates plans to continue Art in Bloom every season.”

Estates Board of Trustee Helen Hendry; Estates president & CEO Chris Pendleton; Debbie Hughes and Ena McGrattan

Fort Myers-Lee County Garden Council president Mitzi Marckesano and husband Patrick

Estates Board of Trustee LD Bochette and Estates garden volunteer Mary Ann Sedlock

International Film Festival Returns to Southwest Florida

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 5th

What:   Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival
When: Fri., March 26, 7:30 PM, Edison & Ford Winter Estates (rain date March 28)
           Sat., March 27, 7:30 PM, Edison State College
           Mon., March 29, 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 fourth 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 26, 2010 at the Estates; March 27, 2010 at the Auditorium at the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College; and March 29, 2010 at Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island.  Black Maria Film Festival Board Directors Member and filmmaker, Clayton Hemmert will introduce the films and facilitate discussion afterwards.  Hemmert was awarded a 2010 Director’s Prize from the Black Maria Film Festival for his film Banana BreadBanana Bread will be shown at all three sites as well as an additional thirty films. 

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.  Tickets for all three nights can be purchased at a discounted rate of $15.  Estates Members are free on March 26 and Edison State College students are free on March 27.  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.orgOn March 26th  the Estates will host the Festival along Caloosahatchee River in the Royal Palm Allee at the historic Ford Estate.  This year the Estates is offering “Dinner and a Movie.”   Viewers can enjoy a BBQ 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 29th.  Films to be screened at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include:
 
Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY

STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.
Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

 Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Jelly Fishers 5:48 min.  by Steven Subotnick, Providence, RI
Jelly Fishers is a mischievous hand drawn animation in which a fly visits a family floating at sea but there is nothing to eat, so granny goes fishing. While she is away, the stormy sea engulfs everything. In the end, they are all saved by jellyfish. The offbeat story line is enhanced by the filmmaker’s artistry.
My Girlfriend Sleeps Like Superman  2:13 min. by Steve Gentile, Boston, MA
A droll animated portrait of the artist’s nightly battle for bed space where insomnia and romance intersect and restful sleep is a prized commodity owing to partner’s dream maneuvers.

My Dearest Love 3 min. by Marc Wiskemann, Columbus, OH
In this poignant short the viewer sees a bride dressed in a traditional silk sari as she’s being attended by her bridesmaids, in moments before her marriage. The bride wistfully turns her attention to a nearby window and love note is left behind as she arises to meet her awaiting husband to be.

Thomas Edison’s Last Film 16:12 min. by Eli Shapiro, West Orange, NJ
YOUNG FILMMAKER/AUDIENCE CHOICE SELECTION
In this work made by a high school senior the protagonist is on a quest to find an cinematic artifact of his hero, Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures. A buddy and the young man embark on a madcap adventure and finally dig up a long missing film at a hidden location in the town that is the birthplace of motion pictures.

On March 27th at the Auditorium in the Richard H. Rush Library at Edison State College, films to be screened include:

LOOPLOOP 5 min. by Patrick Bergeron, Montreal, Quebec
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
The 1000 images in this experimental work are based on video shot from a train going to Hanoi Vietnam and are stitched together in one long panoramic strip that is stacked upon itself. Using digital manipulation of images and sounds warping with time shifts this video runs forwards and backwards looking for forgotten details, mimicking the way memories are replayed in the mind. That internal slice of life samplings, houses, fences, textures, bicycles, a woman dancing, become more apparent as the images become more magnified. There’s a sense of humor in the juxtapositions of the image ribbons as they slide and shift across the screen.

The Passenger 7 min. by Julie Zammarchi, Marshfields Hills, MA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this polished animated, dreamscape narrative a woman peers out her window to see an almost Disney-esque rabbit being chased by a cat as a car pulls up which carries her toward her own euthanasia death. She applies lipstick as if it’s all quite normal and upon seeing herself in the mirror, visions and memories crowd her consciousness. The film is a ride through the disparate images of her mind’s eye and a quest to piece together her life’s meaning.
Balance 3:46 min. by Debra Sea, Greensboro, NC
The product of a 30 day video diary project and made with a simple flip camera. Balance’s images are taken from the perspective of a camera mounted on the handlebar of a bike. The front wheel transitions across landscapes, textures, and seasons from rain to gravel, desert to snow, and into the lovely green of springtime, all woven together in an energetic package.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

When Herrons Dream 10:34 min.) by Serge Gregory, Seattle, WA
JURY CITATION SELECTION
This distinctive black and white observational work imagines the perspective a Great Blue Heron as it moves throughout the seasons of a Northwest landscape. But more that this, When Herrons Dream is a distilled meditative, elegantly simple and subtly rewarding film.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Coda  2:40 min. by Vincent Grenier, Ithaca, NY, 2009
This is a work which is about the moment, about seeing, absorbing, distilling the essence of something and which places the viewer in a garden where the veteran filmmaker seemingly meditates on the space through elegantly articulated framing and graceful camera moves.

Bouy 6:21 min. (2008) by Seoungho Cho, Elmhurst, NY
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
A hauntingly beautiful and arid, semi abstract desert landscape in yellow ochre belies the title of this visually poetic work accompanied by Brian Eno music performed by Steven Vitiello.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Fuzzy Insides 5:20 min. by Michael A. Olsen, Bedford, NH
A model animation has vaguely voyeuristic scene which peek into the secret nightlife of the suburbs. Four stop-motion vignettes portray awkward relationships that fitfully develop romantically and sexually as realized by the deft creativity of the filmmaker.

Hourglass 4 min. by Fern Seiden, Stockholm, Sweden
Rain pours and rubbish soars while light-bulb creatures party up a storm at the edge of the earth. In this photo-collage animation – laced with a turn of the century scientist in his laboratory – a child realizes that the state of the planet hangs in the balance. The film’s lyrical hourglass/alarm clock sounds a critical warning to humanity.

Never Too Late 7:45 min. by Wendy Weinberg, Philadelphia, PA
After 25 years together, two middle aged San Francisco hotel maids decide it’s finally time to marry. Then along comes Prop. 8. What to do? Never Too Late inserts new dialogue into vintage TV show and movies clips to achieve a biting commentary on popular culture’s insensitivity to bans on gay marriage. The filmmaker states that it’s her way of injecting ironic humor into what is the painful inequity which Lesbians and Gays face daily.

Spectrology 11 min. by Kerry Laital, San Francisco, CA
Interest in Spectrogy (the “Spectral” realm) is said to be related to Spiritualism and especially in the 19th century there was a fascination such ideas. This elegiac film is evocative of the apparitional images sometimes found in pre-20th century magic lantern shows. Spectrology is very much an illusionist-like work employing reprocessed vintage films and images that are redolent of the paranormal realm.
Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Young Continent 6:30 min. by Sarah J. Christman, Brooklyn, NY
On a geologically young island, the earth’s heat rises bubbling through the surface, volcanoes hibernate below ice caps and glaciers recede. Containing both unrestrained forces and energy harnessed for human use, the landscape of Iceland
conjures echoes of medieval sagas and whispers of an imagined future.

March 29th in the Schein Performance Hall at BIG ARTS, Sanibel, films to be screened include:

Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket 19 min. by Dennis Connors, Montclair, NJ
This gripping and insightful documentary chronicles the story of 22 year Alex Masket, an extraordinary, young man who has created a rich and varied body of work through which he expresses himself vibrantly. Appraisals of Alex’s work by art experts testifies to the quality of his creations. The wholly individualistic style of Alex Masket helps bring ideas about artistic communication and the creative impulse into focus. “Is Alex’s art not clear evidence of a highly articulate, even amazing visual language that is just as meaningful as verbal language?” “Is it not our own limitations that establishes the primacy of verbal communication over the visual, and in fact is not Alex just as much a fully realized, creative human being as anyone?” More about Alex and his art can be found in Esopus magazine’s cover story. (Esopus.org).

Pickles to Nickels 8 min. by Danielle Ash, of Brooklyn, New York, NY
STELLAR ANIMATION SELECTION
Enter a cardboard world where monkeys steal pickles and store fronts shift and disappear and two eccentric characters enjoy a certain simpatico. An elder Jewish pickle vendor and a bakeshop owner find that change is everywhere, even on their zany old neighborhood.

Making Merit Buddhist Daily Duties 8 min. by Dennis Darmek, Milwaukee, WI
A procession of colorful images depict brightly robed monks as they process, chant, collect alms, and practice traditional rituals. Arresting close-ups of Elephants are a powerful presence throughout the film. The pachyderms occupy a special place in the film and culture as they sway in sync with the monks’ chants, and make for a fanciful addition to this sumptuous video.

Missed Aches 4 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
This uproarious animation by one of the nation’s iconic animation artists colorfully serves up a cascade of malapropisms.

Corporate Art Policy 5:30 min. by Neil Needleman, Katonah, NY
This ironic send up of fickle corporate taste features a cascade of images found on the walls of the filmmaker’s employer. Copies of works by artists ranging from Kandinsky to the kitschy are satirized by the filmmaker. Neil Needleman is perhaps best known as an experimental filmmaker but also is a crazed humorist whose work is always engaging.

Second Hand Dolls 5:31 min. by Anthony Weeks, San Francisco, CA
JURY CHOICE SELECTION
In this parallel story documentary the filmmaker and his central individual address our throw away culture, where anything that is not of the moment or no longer young is too often dismissed. But an elder dancer asserts her vitality in this engaging black and white documentary.

Banana Bread 9 min. by Barton Landsman and Clayton Hemmert, New York, NY
Perhaps owing part of it’s sensibility to the work of director Quentin Tarantino, this droll fictional film with a clever plot twist breaks boundaries but for those who can appreciate irony, incongruity and over-the-top action, this will be a hoot.

Worlds of Sound:  The Ballad of Folkways Records 52:25 min. by Andrea Kalin – Director, Richard Carlin (Book Author) Washington DC
This is a fulfilling and energetic chronicle of Folkways records with Pete Seeger, Lightn’ Hopkins, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ella Jenkins, Oscar Brand, Furry Lewis, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and a raft of other songsters all delivering lively performances.

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.