When the Black Maria Film & Video Festival stopped in Caldwell last year, Breaking Boundaries, a documentary by Montclair filmmaker Dennis Connors, was one of the featured selections from the juried international festival.
The film about Alex Masket, an artist from New Jersey who happens to be autistic, was among the many memorable works shown that afternoon. It was no surprise this one in particular went on to win numerous awards at other juried festivals around the country.
So with the Black Maria rolling into Caldwell Saturday for the third consecutive year, I can't help but wonder what exciting and cutting edge films and videos will be featured?
The festival will once again be held at Caldwell Flowerland, a gorgeous space with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, on Saturday, April 2, at 4:30 p.m. The stop is sponsored by the Caldwell Merchants' Association, which deserves major kudos for bringing such a prestigious festival to downtown Caldwell.
Tickets are not available at the door and seating is limited, so get out sooner than later to be sure you get a seat. General admission tickets are $10 and are being sold at the following locations in Caldwell:
- Caldwell Flowerland, 329 Bloomfield Ave., 973-226-1309
- Lovely Living Interiors, 295 Bloomfield Ave., 973-364-1124
- Smith & Co., 343 Bloomfield Ave., 973-228-1167
Now in its 30th year, the Black Maria takes its name from Thomas Edison’s pioneering 1893 film studio. Each year since 1981, an international jury of film scholars has selected about 45 short films submitted from around the world to showcase at the festival. The festival tours the U.S. all year long, with a different selection of short films and videos showcased at each stop.
The 90-minute program on April 2 at Caldwell Flowerland will consist of about a dozen award-winning documentary, animation and narrative films. This year festival founder and executive director John Columbus will be the moderator for the first time in Caldwell.
The following restaurants will offer 20% off one dinner after the show when a ticket is presented: Bangkok Kitchen, Calandra’s Italian Village, Caldwell Seafood, Cloverleaf Tavern, Hog Wild BBQ Co., Pizza and Sandwich Barn and Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse & Bistro.
I am glad to say I didn't miss the first two years of the Black Maria in Caldwell and will be in the audience again next Saturday. See you at the movies!
For more information on the event, visit www.caldwellmerchants.com. For more on the Black Maria Film Festival, go to www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.