January 28, 2016

35th Annual Black Maria Film Festival Kicks-off Premiere at Home Base, New Jersey City University, on February 4

JERSEY CITY, NJ—The national tour of the 35th annual Black Maria Film Festival will kick-off its premiere weekend at its home base, New Jersey City University, on Thursday, February 4 at 8:00 p.m., in Room 202 (Gothic Lounge), of Hepburn Hall, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City.
The Black Maria Film Festival is a prestigious international festival that attracts and nationally showcases the works of independent film and video makers from around the world. The Festival is a project of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, an independent non-profit organization operating in association with the NJCU Department of Media Arts.
Jane Steuerwald, an NJCU professor of media arts, serves as executive director of the Festival, which was founded in 1981 as a tribute to Thomas Edison’s development of the motion picture at his laboratory and Black Maria film studio, the first in the world, in West Orange.
The opening night at NJCU will feature screenings of the Festival’s five Stellar Award-winning films—the top winners-- from the 2016 juried competition. Admission is free and open to the community. Light refreshments will be served.
On Saturday, February 6, opening weekend will continue at Art House Productions, 136 Magnolia Avenue in Jersey City, adjacent to the Journal Square PATH Station. The reception will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will feature a musical performance and art exhibition by Michael DiFeo of Jersey City. Screenings of the Festival’s award-winning short films will begin at 8:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. As seating is limited, purchasing tickets in advance is advised. Advance tickets are $12.00 and are available at www.arthouseproductions.org; tickets at the door will be $15.00. Limited free parking will be available.
The premiere weekend’s closing event will be sponsored by the West Orange Film Society on Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 p.m. at the AMC Dine-In Theatre, Essex Green 9, 495 Prospect Avenue in West Orange. The program will feature short films, a question-and-answer session, and an “Edison Cake” to celebrate the birthday of Thomas Edison, inventor of the motion picture camera. Tickets are $12.00 at the door.
Each premiere program will be introduced by Jane Steuerwald.
The Festival will subsequently travel to museums, cultural centers, colleges, and universities throughout the United States and abroad.
In 2015, the Black Maria Festival was awarded the New Jersey State Council on the Arts “Citation of Excellence” for achieving the highest standards of excellence as recognized by its peers for the eighth consecutive year.
The Black Maria Film Festival has generous support from New Jersey City University, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Adobe Systems, Inc., and Microsoft through TechSoup.org.
For information contact Jane Steuerwald at (201)200-2043 or jane@blackmariafilmfestival.org. Additional information is also available at blackmariafilmfestival.org.
ABOUT New Jersey City University (NJCU)
The mission at New Jersey City University (NJCU) is to provide a diverse population with an excellent education. The University is committed to the improvement of the educational, intellectual, cultural, socioeconomic, and physical environment of the surrounding urban region and beyond.  Established in 1927 as a training school for teachers, today NJCU is among the most comprehensive universities in the state.  Located in Jersey City, NJ, and minutes from New York City, NJCU's fully accredited College of Arts and Sciences, Education, Professional Studies, and School of Business offer 43 undergraduate degree programs and 27 master’s programs and 2 doctoral programs, including emerging and interdisciplinary fields.
NJCU students engage in rigorous applied-learning experiences that include opportunities to study abroad, and cooperative education internships.  NJCU operates two additional campus sites—NJCU School of Business at Harborside Plaza 2 in Jersey City’s financial district and NJCU at Brookdale in Wall Township in Monmouth County. 
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