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The 31st Black Maria Film and Video Festival will screen at Monmouth University on Monday, March 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Pollak Theatre. The program is free. All are invited and welcome, however, the content is not usually appropriate for young children.

Thirteen short films will be screened from this year’s collection. Genres include narrative, animation, experimental, documentary, abstract, and digital. Works are timely, topical, artistic, challenging, moving, and funny.

The festival takes its name from the first film studio in history, Thomas Edison’s tar paper covered building in West Orange, NJ. Nicknamed the Black Maria (pronounced “Mariah”) because it resembled the police wagons of the time with same moniker, Edison’s crew made hundreds of movies and traveled around the world to exhibit them. In this same spirit, the Black Maria Film Festival is a traveling competition which celebrates the best of experimental and independent work made world-wide each year.

You would have had to pay 5 cents to see an Edison nickelodeon movie. You can see the Black Maria Festival for free at Monmouth, sponsored by the Department of Communication.

This is the 21st consecutive year that the festival has screened at Monmouth. Those of you who have attended in the past know that it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Please visit the Black Maria Film & Video Festival Web site for more information.