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Black Maria Film Festival

The Black Maria Film Festival was founded in 1981 as a tribute to Thomas Edison’s development of the motion picture at his laboratory, dubbed the “Black Maria” film studio, the first in the world, in West Orange, NJ. Now in its 38th year, the festival attracts and showcases the work of independent filmmakers internationally. The festival is a project of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, an independent non-profit organization in residence at New Jersey City University’s Department of Media Arts. Unlike other major film festivals, the Black Maria Festival is not presented in only one location. Instead, the winning films are presented at universities, museums, libraries and cultural centers across the country all year.

More information on this year’s festival at:

Asperger’s Are Us

An absurdist comedy troupe who happen to be the first troupe of people with Asperger’s Syndrome. They were featured in the Duplass Brothers Productions documentary “Asperger’s Are Us” now on Netflix. They have performed over 100 original absurdist sketch shows in nine countries since 2010.

“Audiences don’t usually know what to expect from Asperger’s Are Us, a Boston sketch comedy troupe made up solely of artists on the autism spectrum. Will they use self-deprecating humor about life with Asperger’s syndrome? Are they hoping to shed light on a serious condition? Will they be something like Sheldon, the socially inept character on CBS’s ‘The Big Bang Theory’?

The answer, it turns out, is none of the above.

Instead of focusing on the condition, the four men who make up the troupe perform skits and monologues that reflect their thoughts, perspectives and offbeat sensibilities, often characterized by deadpan and absurd humor… the guys are not looking for sympathy laughs or polite applause. Their show is not an autism awareness campaign, they say. They want people to laugh simply because they’re funny.” – New York Times

There will be a postshow Q&A with the cast.
Free and open to the public, but registration is recommended.

“The Other Vincent” Documentary Film Premiere and Closing Reception

Please join us for the closing reception of  Vincent DiMattio/50 a retrospective of work by Vincent DiMattio celebrating his 50 years as a professor in Monmouth University’s Department of Art & Design at 6:30 PM in the Pollak, DiMattio & Ice House Galleries. After the reception, there will be the premiere of a documentary film The Other Vincent at 7:30 PM in Pollak Theatre about Vincent DiMattio’s 50 year journey at Monmouth University as an artist and educator.

Ghost Hunters Live

Since its 2004 Syfy Channel premiere, Ghost Hunters has become television’s #1 paranormal reality series. The show is now in its ninth season and is aired in more than 170 countries. Leader of The Atlantic Paranormal Society-Jason Hawes along with fellow lead investigator Steve Gonsalves, will now bring their experiences with the paranormal and understanding of unexplained disturbances to live audiences in their theater presentation.  Hear them talk about their scariest experiences, see unreleased footage from the show, and ask them questions about themselves or perhaps a ghostly experience of your own!
As members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), both Jason and Steve have made it their life’s mission to help anyone with questions pertaining to paranormal phenomena and ghost hunting. TAPS is a group of fairly ordinary people— office managers, factory workers, teachers and even psychic-hotline gurus— moonlighting to understand seemingly unexplainable disturbances.

Springsteen & I

Tickets on sale 9/16.

Forty years ago, Bruce Springsteen burst onto the rock scene and changed it forever. His music defines a generation, but behind the songs were remarkable stories about the fans who lived them. Come celebrate Bruce’s birthday with this documentary-biographical film directed by Baillie Walsh documenting his life and career through the eyes and insights of his fans throughout the world.

Presented by the Friends of Springsteen and Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts 

Celebrating One Hundred Years of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali

4:30 – 6:45 p.m. – Film Screening, Home and the World (Wilson Hall 104)

6:45 – 7:15 p.m. – Reception & Exhibit (Wilson Auditorium Lobby)

7:30 – 8:45 p.m. – A Garland of Music, Presented by Prabuddha Raha and friends (Wilson Auditorium)

This program is a celebration of the thoughts, poetry, music, and artistry of Rabindranath Tagore, and a commemoration of one hundred years of his Nobel Prize for Literature, for his ‘Gitanjali’ an Offering in Songs.  In 1913, India’s renaissance poet, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European and first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in literature, with his Gitanjali, an offering in songs. Hailed as an internationalist and a humanist, Tagore bridges the East and West through his music, poetry, and writings and celebrates life in unison with God, Nature, Love, Peace, and Humanity.

Through a creative interpretation of Tagore’s poetry and music, Prabuddha Raha, a noted Rabindrasangeet artiste from Calcutta, India, will perform as part of this program. A music instructor and established television and film playback singer and music director, Raha has represented India at various international settings, including Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States.

Fall Poetry Festival

The day will consist of readings by nationally known poets, some of whom will conduct poetry workshops for participants.

The keynote presenters will be National Book Award Finalist Kim Addonizio and Editor of Southern Indiana Review, Ron Mitchell.

The festival will culminate with a reading by registered participants.

Admission to the readings is free and open to the public. The workshops, also free, will be open to registrants only: to register, email Dr. Michael Waters no later than Wednesday, October 30, at


9:00-9:30 a.m.  Sign-in for registrants in Bey Hall (refreshments)

The Monmouth Review distributed to participants

9:45-10:45 a.m.  reading:  Laura McCullough / BCC

Michael Broek / BCC

Prescott Evarts, Jr. / MU

Mihaela Moscaliuc / MU

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  workshops

12:00-1:00 p.m.  lunch for registrants

1:00-1:45 p.m.  reading:  Gabor Barabas / NJ Repertory Company

Catherine Barnett / New School / NYU

Michael Waters / MU

2:00-2:45  talk and Q&A: Ron Mitchell, Editor, Southern Indiana Review

3:00-3:45 p.m.  reading: Kim Addonizo

4:00-5:00 p.m.  reading: festival participants

Light of Day Foundation presents: Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys with Special Guest Amy Cook

lod Alejandro Escovedo is a roots rock/alternative country singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. He began a career in the early 1980’s that spans 14 albums, thousands of live shows and hundreds of thousands of miles on the road forging an identity that is one with his muse and his music. Over a lifetime spent traversing the bridge between words and melody, he has ranged over an emotional depth that embraces all forms of genre and presentation, a resolute voice that weathers the emotional terrain of our lives, its celebrations and despairs, it’s land mines, blindsides, upheavals and beckoning distractions, in search of ultimate release and the healing truth of honesty. Sometimes it takes the form of barely contained rage, the rock of punk amid kneeled feedback; sometimes it caresses and soothes, a whispery harmony riding the air of a nightclub room, removed from amplification, within the audience. Alejandro has worked his musical magic a number of times at the Jersey Shore, at the legendary Stone Pony, at the Count Basie Theatre and at the Paramount Theater headlining the Light of Day Festival in Asbury Park where he was joined by his friends Willie Nile, Joe Grushecky, Jesse Malin and Bruce Springsteen. Nationally syndicated radio shows such as Little Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage continue to give prominent attention to Escovedo and his music, continuing to play songs such as  “Silver Cloud” from his 2010 album Street Songs of Love as well as music from his most recent record 2012’s Big Station. His family boasts several professional musicians including his niece, drummer/percussionist Sheila E.  With Special Guest Amy Cook.

Tickets on sale now online, by phone and in person at the Pollak Theatre and MAC Box Offices.
Visit for more information.

Winter Commencement

Monmouth University will hold Winter Commencement on Friday, January 17, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. on campus in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). Students who have completed their degree requirements in the Summer or Fall 2013 semesters will be recognized at this time.

Doors to the MAC will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

Students are asked to be at the student lineup in Boylan Gymnasium no later than 12:45 p.m. on Commencement Day. Please enter through the Fitness Center.

Guests are requested to be seated by 1 p.m.

Live Video will be available online beginning at 1:30 p.m.

33rd Annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival

The films that become the centerpiece of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture.  It was his New Jersey studio, the world’s first, which he called the “black maria” (pronounced “mariah”) after which the festival is named.  The cutting edge, cross-genre work that makes up the festival’s touring program, has been traveling across the country every year for decades.
Black Maria focuses on diverse short films – narrative, experimental, animation, and documentary – including those which address issues and struggles within contemporary society such as the environment, public health, race and class, family, sustainability, and much more. These exceptional works ranging from comedy to drama to the exploration of pure form in film and video are not sidebars to feature length films, they are the heart and soul of the festival. The program is free and all are welcome. Works which will be screened are unrated; some of the content is sophisticated and might not be suited to younger audiences.

A Place of Spirit – Jury’s Choice
6.5 min. by Natalie Conn and Jay Weichun, Brooklyn, NY
This is the story of Andrea Phillips, a Staten Island based artist, facing eviction from her home after 44 years.  Rather than center itself around the policy issues associated with Andrea’s eviction, “A Place of Spirit” focuses on Andrea’s emotional and spiritual relationship to her eccentric, unique and uncommon home.

Something Like Whales – Jury’s Choice

5 min. by Nora Sweeney, Val Verde, CA.
In a dying industrial neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Queensgate Train Yard pulses with life. A local worker describes the haunting sound emanating from the yard as ‘something like whales.’  This poetical film was shot in part with a camera obscura.

For The Birds – You Be the Judge: Peoples’ Choice Award
14 min. by Tara Atashgah, Santa Monica, CA.
Inspired by a true story, “For The Birds” follows a young Iranian girl as she is taken to the gallows to be hanged, having been accused of adultery. In her final moments, she imagines her fate in the hands of the surrounding townspeople.

Close the Lid, Gently: A Home Document Scan – Jury’s Choice

5.5 min. by Ariana Gerstein, Barton, NY.
A video made entirely from two home desktop scanners – one a photo scanner, the other a refurbished low-end document scanner. Each has its own texture and sees the domestic environment in its own particular way, one scan at a time. This piece deals with the deliberate misuse/re-purposing of commercial image producing machines for a slow, individual, low tech, approach to the motion picture making process.

The Apothecary – Jury’s Choice

17 min. by Helen Hood Scheer, Palo Alto, CA.
A moving portrait of beloved druggist, Don Colcord, in a rural Colorado outpost. Don is a man who operates the only pharmacy within 4,000 square miles.  He navigates a profound divide between his public persona and his personal life.  To the community, he is jovial and heroic.  At home, he is impotent and isolated due to his wife’s disability.  “The Apothecary” explores notions of individual duty and obligation in the face of privately held grief and ambivalence.

Wise Choice or Lucky Guess – Directors’ Choice
3.5 min. by Ellen Raines, Fox Point, WI.
A recently deceased man has to make a choice between heaven and hell, while sitting on an escalator.

Rehearsal – Directors’ Choice

11 min. by Tom Rosenberg, Austin, TX.