Spirited Films at the 34th Black Maria Film Festival

Spirited Films at the 34th Black Maria Film Festival

Photo Credit: Maria Elena Perozo

Diana C. Hernandez

The 34th

February 5th

Department of Media Arts, Executive Director of the Black Maria, professor at NJCU

Jane Steuerwald, and a few others.

“This is going to be my favorite screening of the year because all my students

are here,” said Steuerwald. Seats filled quickly as students, faculty, and guests hurried in

to catch the new opening sequence of the festival designed by Production Intern, Asela

For the opening night four shorts were screened. An animation, “Without a

Doubt,” by Gerald Guthrie illustrates a variation on the 17th

Descartes’ view of the world.

The second screening was a documentary “Self Portrait Portrait,” shot in super 8

by James Hollenbaugh that examines Bryan Lewis Saunders’ creations of self portraits

that he has been creating everyday for twenty years. Hollenbaugh was an attendee

that night at the Black Maria and he was nice enough to hold a Q&A at the end of the


He spoke about how he does not enjoy editing much and prefers to shoot with

super 8 and 16 millimeter, “I like working with film it’s a lot more fun. I get the shot,

well I hope I get the shot, it limits you. You have to plan out what you’re doing. Unlike

digital where you can shoot as much as you like, shooting film can be expensive. It took

three rolls of film to shoot this six-minute documentary,” he said.

Hollenbaugh was proud and happy to be at the Black Maria and spoke well of

Mr. Saunders as he gave everyone some insight of who he is, “The man is 44. He is a

really special guy. He is known as the guy who does drugs and does self-portraits. He

is much more than that. I like his outlook on things. He is not motivated by money in


“Cyber Genesis,” an experimental by Andre Silva, imagines a future creation

myth crafted by cyber consciousness from bits and pieces of humanity’s online legacy.

“Jaya,” a narrative by Puja Maewal is about a young girl named Jaya who survives a

gruesome gang life on the streets of Mumbai by posing as a boy. She meets a wealthy

businessman who may be the father who abandoned her, so she seeks to regain her


The Black Maria continued out for three more days at different locations and

screenings. To stay updated on The Black Maria or if you want to submit your short

works for the 2016 season visit the website at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org. The

Black Maria Film Festival had its opening night at NJCU last month on

. Everyone was welcomed with a few words by Joel Katz, the Chair of the

century philosopher Rene

festival seeks spirited films that explore, enrich and expand the expressive possibilities of

media. All genres are accepted, animation, experimental, documentary and narrative.