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 36th 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.