John Columbus is the founder and director of the 27th Thomas Edison Black Maria Film and Video Festival. The annual Thomas Edison Black Maria Film and Video Festival is coming to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for the 22nd year in a row. This year, due to construction at VMFA, the program will be presented Thursday, […]
John Columbus is the founder and director of the 27th Thomas Edison Black Maria Film and Video Festival.
The annual Thomas Edison Black Maria Film and Video Festival is coming to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for the 22nd year in a row.
This year, due to construction at VMFA, the program will be presented Thursday, April 10, at 8 p.m. at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Grace Street Theater, 934 West Grace St.
The festival is named for Thomas Edison’s Black Maria, which Edison built in 1893 on the grounds of his laboratories at West Orange, N.J. It was the world’s first motion-picture studio.
The Black Maria Festival is an internationally recognized showcase of independent works and is one of nine festivals designated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an Oscar-qualifying competition for new work by independent artists.
On his 22nd annual visit to VMFA, John Columbus, who is the founder and director of the festival, will present a selection of the year’s most compelling award-winning short films and videos.
This year’s program will include a screening of two of the festival’s Grand Prize-winning films. “Field of Green” by Sky David of Carlsbad, Calif., is a haunting mixed-media animation resurrecting images from a sketchbook that the filmmaker carried as an American soldier in Vietnam. “Phoenix Dance” by Karina Epperlein and Nicole Johnson of Boston is about the late one-legged dancer Homer Avila.
Admission: Tickets to the screening in Richmond are $5 and must be purchased in advance. They are available at the museum, or by telephoning (804) 340-1405.
Columbus is a graduate of Columbia University where he earned a master of arts degree in film directing. In 1975 he joined the arts faculty at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where he became the founding vice-president of the Atlantic Film Society.
He has produced sound resource material for John Cage’s “Finnegan’s Wake” and completed two short films, “Seabright” and “Down Jersey,” which aired on New Jersey Public TV. In 1988, he completed a short documentary, “Olive’s Farm,” which is now in the permanent collection of the Center for Southern Folklore. He has been guest film curator for the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in New York, a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts, a guest critic at the Rhode Island School of Design and a trustee of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and in 2008 celebrates 70 years as a leader in statewide arts education.
Click here to listen to a National Public Radio story about the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival.
For additional information about exhibitions and programs, telephone (804) 340-1400 or click here to visit Virginia Museum of Fine Arts web site.
– The information above was provided by Suzanne Hall at the VMFA