Selections from Black Maria Film Festival and Local Foods Buffet, November 7, 7:30—10PM
Steel Mill Rolling
12 min. by Ross Nugent, Pittsburgh PA
Equal parts landscape and industrial short, Steel Mill Rolling is a striking portrait of a functioning steel mill in Western Pennsylvania where the filmmaker’s family has worked for nearly one hundred years—but it’s also a contemporary portrayal of the steel industry with its hard economic, political, and environmental realities.
A Place of Spirit
7 min. by Natalie Conn and Jay Weichun, Brooklyn NY
This is the story of Andrea Phillips, a Staten Island artist facing eviction from her home after forty-four years, focusing especially on her emotional and spiritual relationship to her eccentric, unique, and uncommon house.
8 min. by Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang, New Haven, CT
Born in Romania under communism, Livia Ungur grew up there following the collapse of the regime. As an adult she immigrated to New York City. With her husband Sherng-Lee Huang, Livia made Prodigal during a month-long return visit to Bucharest, in the dead of winter, using a hidden camera on the city’s streets. This poetic, subjective short film tracks the complicated relationship between an emigrant artist and the place she used to call home.
The Here After
14 min. by Lauren DeFilippo, Gainesville, FL
The Here After is a personal non-fiction work based on filmmaker Lauren DeFilippo’s relationship with her father and his fascination with the idea of dying. As she helps him to shape a vision for his own dramatic Viking funeral, DeFilippo explores fears of death and loss, and the human need to be memorialized and remembered.
15 min. by Nick Graalman, Adelaide, Australia
Gaia (Mother Earth) is struggling for survival in an increasingly degraded and urbanized planet. Nature is so vast and unfathomable that our minds are sometimes overwhelmed by our responsibilities in the delicate web of life—even as the urban landscape commands more authority, with little thought for the resources it requires. Gaia uses an evocative blend of movement, music, and film to highlight this reality and remind us of our kinship with planet earth. Through the language of dance, it tells a universal story.
10 min. by Catalina Santamaria, New York, NY
Umbrella House reveals stories of a squatter community (mostly immigrants) who took over abandoned buildings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, reconstructed them, and made them into homes. The community gave new life and vitality to the area, and the Lower East Side has become one of the most attractive neighborhoods in New York. “Gentrification,” however, has now forced most of the local people out, including many of the squatters who helped to transform the area.
The Ballad of Holland Island House
4 min. by Lynn Tomlinson, Owings Mills, MD
The Ballad of Holland Island House tells the true story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay, brought to new life in the film through fluidly transforming animated clay-on-glass paintings. The house sings of its past and the creatures it has sheltered, and contemplates time and environmental change. Told from the house's point of view, this film is a soulful and haunting view of the impact of sea-level rise.
Black Maria Film Festival Selections, presented by Jane Steuerwald, (6o mn Dinner + 75 mn films/presentation), November 7, 7:30—10PM @Templeton Hall
The Ballad of Holland Island House, by Lynn Tomlinson, Owings Mills, MD
Gaia, by Nick Graalman, Adelaide, Australia
The Here After, by Lauren DeFilippo, Gainesville, FL