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The Black Maria Film + Video Festival at Jefferson Market Library

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On Saturday April 25th at 2PM The Jefferson Market Branch will be one of the stops for The Black Maria Film and Video Festival. Yes, I know I know, the weather is finally nice, Spring is finally here, but we've got an incredible line up this year so you really must try and stop by.

"Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers. The festival is known for its national public exhibition program, which features a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection of 50 award winning films and videos."

Please click through to see the selection of films we are screening...

Utopia Variations - 5 min. by Gregg Biermann, Hackensack, NJ. Polymorphic algorithms transform sample moments from Judy Garland's performance of "Over the Rainbow" into a time-shifted, multi- screen encounter with a cinema classic.  Director' s Choice Award.

The Death of Grandma Gladys - 5.20 min. by Kate Lain,  Bozeman, MT. The filmmaker found old photos of her grandmother after she died and in those pictures her grandmother most often wore men's clothing and usually seen with female pals in playful poses. The filmmaker talks about the intriguing images and the possible subtext both culturally and personally.  Director's Choice Award.

Ice Bears of the Beaufort - 9 min. by Arthur C. Smith, Kaktovik, AK. This exquisitely picturesque work picks up where "The March of the Penguins" left off.  Magnificent scenery and radiant cinematography capture the lives of the endangered Polar Bears. Sows and cubs romp, nuzzle, nurse and hunt in their natural habitat.  Grand Prize - Documentary.

Stuffed - 20 min. by Arwen Lee Curry, San Francisco, CA. The evolution from collector, to pack rat to hoarder can creep up on a person. This eye-opening work visits the domiciles of three hoarders who share their stories and show their stuff. Each person has a strategy to manage their ramifications of his or her obsession but sometimes the behavior becomes so all consuming that it’ s not possible to function normally.   Director's Choice Award.

Nora - 35 min. by Alla Kovgan, Somerville, MA. An extraordinary, absolutely masterful, and thoroughly captivating interpretive dance narrative shot in Mozambique. “Nora” is based on childhood memories of dancer Nora Chipaumire who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965 and now resides in Manhattan. Amid stunning close-ups of drumming and panoramas of majestic African scenery Nora's striking presence amid local tribal members brings to life a rich and expressive heritage, an amalgam of modern/interpretive dance and indigenous performances. The protagonist creates a visually poetic portrait of her life in this cinematic tour de force. The original score was composed by a Zimbabwean legend, Thomas Mapfumo. Grand Prize – Short Subject/Narrative.

Yours Truly - 7 min. by Osbert Parker, London, England. This wild, witty and playful send-up of a Hollywood potboiler features a paper doll cutout of Humphrey Bogart playing the lead character. A high energy police chase bursts through lost layers of yesteryear’s matinee dreams in this astounding assemblage of film noir clips and model-making recreations, all told as a mixed media mystery/romance with unexpected plot twists as the protagonists’’ worlds collide in a high energy animation tribute to celluloid history.  Jury’s Choice Award.

Hold the Soup, (Matzo Ball Eating World Championship) - 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 he world champion of  an unexpected culinary event. Director’s Choice Award.

Night Train - 3.5 min. by John Zissovici, Ithaca, NY. In 2003 Oscar Peterson embarked on what was likely the last of his more than 20 concert tours in Japan, performing at the Blue Note clubs in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. Likely traveling by train the musician passed some of the nation's 10,000 driving ranges perched atop high rise buildings on Japan's skylines. It is not known if Oscar Peterson ever visited any rooftop driving ranges or if he had expressed interest in them, but thanks to him and Google Earth, the film brings together golf and jazz, Japan's two great obsessions while barreling along on " C -Jam Blues" on the aerial fast track of  Peterson's famed "Night Train.” Jury's Citation.

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