The films are part of the collection of the Black Maria Film Festival’s Global Insight series, which features extraordinary works from independent filmmakers that deal with environmental issues.
The project is part of the Edison Media Arts Consortium, which has its roots with the Thomas A. Edison National Historic Site in West Orange and is based at the Department of Media Arts at New Jersey City University.
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Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, exhibits cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers. Commentary will be offered by festival founder John Columbus.
Sunday’s selections include the following:
DVD – 4 min. by Tatchapon Lertwirojkul, Jersey City, NJ
This poignant digital animation depicts a futuristic metropolis devoid of nature. Beyond the edges of this brave new robotic world there remains one seeming remnant of nature which is carried on the wind and discovered by an unsuspecting avatar who embarks on a quest to find its source.
Uno Degli Ultimi (One of the Last)
DVD – 11.5 min. by Paul Zinder, Rome, Italy
This first person documentary brings to life the homespun environmental wisdom of an elder whose farm is just outside Rome. The quirky man of the soil prunes his olive and cherry trees, digs onions and potatoes and raises livestock on his family farm. He's a wise and surprisingly savvy man who knows how human folly damages nature.
Wakeup Call: Saving the Songbirds
VHS - 14 min. by Claire Blotter, c/o The Video Project, San Francisco, CA
This captivating short celebrates migratory birds and their beautiful, rich songs on the wing. Renowned avian experts of the San Francisco Bay Area and students offer strategies for attracting and assisting endangered species “in your own backyard.” Viewers will enjoy the humor in Gary Malkin's footage of the Piedmont High School bird callers in this video which includes breathtaking close-ups of joyfully melodic species.
Turning the Tide
DVD – 30 min. by New Jersey Network, Trenton, NJ
Ongoing since the time of the pilgrims, wetlands in the lower 48 states have been under siege and often decimated. Misunderstood and under appreciated, wetlands have too often been perceived as waste lands – a perfect breeding ground for unwanted mosquitoes and other vermin. Now recognized as a natural resource, the tide is turning as environmental concerns rise to the fore.
This video showcases the hidden beauty of tidal areas in and around the Hackensack Meadowlands of northern New Jersey and the Hamilton-Trenton Marshes just south of the state capital.
DVD - 15 min. by Melissa Lohman Wild, Sunnyside, NY
This is a delightful documentary about a retired resident of upper Manhattan who embarks on a rooftop project raising bees. The film is paced at an accessible pace allowing viewers to enter the beekeeper's world. The film is not only enjoyable to watch but also provides worthwhile and interesting insight into the overall process which is now more important than ever to the health of our agriculture as bee colony collapse becomes a growing national concern.
Life on the Delaware
DVD – 60 min. (except will be shown as time allows)
This lovely film offers an intimate look at the people of the Delaware River watershed. Rather than adopting a dry, academic look at the “issues” or pitting the environment against the economy, “Life on the Delaware” approaches the riches of the river from the personal perspective of extraordinary individuals who have committed themselves to making the Delaware a healthy waterway for future generations. The river is a national treasure that is essential to both humans and animals that make their home near or pass through this natural resource.
The Meadowlands Environment Center is located at Two DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. For further information, call 201-777-2413. Reservations may be made online at www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. Walk-ins are welcome.