BLACK MARIA FILM + VIDEO FESTIVAL

 
  • Des Moines
  • Art Center
  • 4700 Grand Ave
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • 515.277.4405
  • Hours | Directions

  • John & Mary Pappajohn
  • Sculpture Park
  • 13th and Grand Ave
  • Downtown
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Hours | Directions

2013 FILM FESTIVAL LINE-UP

 

Friday, March 15 at 6:30 pm (Running time = 118 minutes)

Feral - 13 min. by Daniel Sousa, Pawtucket, RI
Jurors’ Citation Selection
Feral is a lyrical animated parable rendered in artfully silhouetted images. A windmill floats in
from the firmament, a feral boy crouches in the forest, he snarls in an encounter with a wolf.
A hunter “liberates” the child and carries him to town, introduces him to school and the
vicissitudes of “civilization.” But the boy must return to the only home he has ever known.
 
Light Plate - 9 min. by Josh Gibson, Durham, NC
Jurors’ Choice Selection
In this shimmering, hand processed, black and white visual poem, the filmmaker explores the
Tuscan landscape, capturing the textures and tones of its fields and the relationship between
tradition, modernity, and agriculture. In beautifully composed scenic ruminations, time passes;
|licks of light infuse the images while a storm gathers and woman kneads pasta dough.

Here and Away - 11 min. by Meena Nanji, Santa Monica, CA
Jurors’ Stellar Selection
Here and Away is a magical film shot in India as inspired by a short story by Franz Kafka
entitled “Children on a Country Road.” Kafka’s story describes a day in the life of a boy living
in the countryside. In Nanji’s film, Ravi is found lying in the grass contemplating the sky and the
mystery of nature. He is aware of changing times and the possibilities of the future. In the
evening, an older companion and Ravi gaze at the distant city lights on the horizon and muse
about those who dwell there, questioning with wonder in moments of becoming.

Fanfare for Marching Band - 15.5 min. by Daniele Wilmouth, Chicago, IL
Director’s Choice Selection
Fanfare for Marching Band traces the antics of a ragtag musical militia as they romp through
unexpected environs with their exuberant music and crazed frolicking. This music and dance
film features choreography by Peter Carpenter and performances by the circus punk marching
band Mucca Pazza, who stage musical “Actions for Joy” at various inappropriate locations
around the city of Chicago

Bug People - 15 min. by Paul Meyers, San Francisco, CA
Jurors’ Choice Selection
In this whimsical film essay, the maker investigates Western cultural biases and discomfort with
things multi-legged with exoskeletons. Bugs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be a great source
of protein and an alternative to the flesh of four legged creatures.  

Pulling Teeth - 9.25 min. by Jennifer Suwak, Bangor, PA
Director’s Choice Selection
Pulling Teeth is an out of the ordinary and wholly arresting documentary that erupts as an honest,
close up, and unfettered look at the work and philosophy of no frills equestrian dentist, John Baker.
His communication with horses and his ability to bond with them discloses the uniqueness of his
approach to his patients.

Reborning - 7.5 min. by Helen Hood Scheer, Palo Alto, CA
Director’s Choice Selection
This riveting documentary portrays a woman whose work is to craft extremely life-like infant dolls.
It all seems to be a bizarre endeavor but there’s a demand for this sort of doll. The woman’s work
is almost like that of a mortician; perhaps their skills sometime serve a similar function for people
who’ve sustained the loss of a child.

Time Exposure - 11 min. by Alfred Guzzetti, Brookline, MA
Director’s Choice Selection
This is a vibrant work about a haunting nighttime photograph taken in South Philadelphia many years
ago by the filmmaker’s father. Filmmaker Guzzetti goes on a personal quest to find the original location
of the photograph with the hope of recapturing a time long passed   

Colectivo - 7.5 min. by Daniela Delago Viter, Manabi, Ecuador
Jurors’ Choice Selction
A bus is stranded in the middle of nowhere, but the passengers seem resigned; some pray the Rosary,
others fidget, or are solemn. Have they arrived at the juncture of Purgatory and eternity, are some
destined for a place in Zion while others disembark for the Netherworld?
 
Lionfish Delusion (El delirio del pez león) - 4 min. by Quique Rivera Rivera, San Juan, PR
Jurors’ Stellar Selection
This is an imaginative underwater neo-noir and colorful animation inspired by the Lionfish plague.
Fishes dream, lobster claws trans-mutate and the sea swirls in a story about greed and hierarchy
in the Caribbean reefs.

Magnetic Reconnection - 12.5 min. by Kyle Armstrong, Edmonton, Alberta
Jurors’ Citation Selection
This is an experimental short form documentary about time and nature contrasting the exquisite
northern lights with the harsh landscapes and remnants of human and military folly in the northern
Canadian town of Churchill. The film touches upon the power of nature over man and the futility
of struggle against the processes of nature.

Queen of the Night Aria - 3 min. by Harry Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Director’s Choice Selection
An aria from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” is parodied in this outlandish film of a classic. This version
utilizes puppetry, absurdist subtitles, and sound effects to create a flamboyantly humorous animation.



Saturday, March 16 at 1 pm (Running time = 123 minutes)

The Poetry Winner - 7.5 min. by Jennifer Levonian, Philadelphia, PA Director’s Choice Selection
This animated film is based on an epiphany in a college student’s life; the semester has ended and
it’s time to go home for the summer and deal with parental meddling vs. self-actualization. The
mixed media technique of this short makes for an engaging work of animation art.

Homebody - 11.5 min. by Kate Marks, Valencia, CA
Jurors’ Choice Selection
Homebody is a droll parable played out in a miniature house where a young woman lives but
does not fit. The protagonist’s world is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland as the woman’s daily
routine in her impossibly confined space plays out in this offbeat story with a bizarre twist.   

From Point A to Point Z - 3 min. by Karl Staven, Philadelphia, PA
Director’s Choice Selection
Through the use of pixilation and an imaginative collection of vocabulary words, this animated
film takes the viewer through the alphabet letter by letter with an energetic street team acting
out each word block by city block.

The Lost Interview of Ray Bradbury - 18.5 min. by Harry Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Director’s Choice Selection
This is a personal tribute to the sci-fi/fantasy author who died on June 5th 2012. Shot over
20 years ago in the basement/office of Ray Bradbury’s home, the footage has been re-edited
using HD stock footage to illustrate the author’s droll reflections. His views on creativity,
Steven Spielberg, the notorious Black List and politics of the 1950s, and a skewering indictment
of networks, make for an entertaining as well as curiously reconstructed interview film.

Nile Perch - 17 min. by Josh Gibson, Durham, NC,
Jurors’ Stellar Selection
In flickering black and white, Nile Perch is a luminous, picturesque documentary filmed on
the shores of legendary Lake Victoria in Uganda. This handmade, artisanal film is not only a
beautifully made work, with close-up portraiture of a lakeside village and its peoples’ daily lives
as they follow their scenic tradition of net fishing, drying and roasting; but it’s also a modern-day
parable of the effects of globalization on Africa. Nile Perch offers a captivating insight into a
people who are in harmony with nature yet the film is equally a meditation on the economic and
ecological impact of an invasive species on traditional cultures.

And/Or - 3.5 min. by Emily Hubley, South Orange, NJ
Director’s Choice Selection
And/Or is a distinctive animated work made in a tender, elegantly laconic, hand-drawn style.
An artist struggling to balance doubt and inspiration shares his poetic deliberations.

Fate of a Salesman - 27 min. by Tessa Moran, Washington, DC
Jurors’ Choice Selection
Fate of a Salesman is a disarming character study/documentary about a man whose life is on
the verge of disappearing. In its 60th year, Men’s Fashion Center in urban Washington, DC, which
caters mainly to an African American clientele, is the second home to the store’s most enthusiastic
employee, Willie. But business has crawled to a near standstill for his boss and cohorts due to a
tough economy and a gentrifying neighborhood. Set amidst pinstriped suites and stylized hats, the
men seek to redefine themselves as the business’s fortunes dims.

Track by Track - 15.5 min. by Anne Moot-Levin, Dobbs Ferry, NY
Director’s Choice Selection
A teen with Asperger’s Syndrome is soon to graduate high school and has worries but finds comfort
on a swing in his yard as he contemplates the challenges of the future ahead of him. He’s a talented
artist who draws amazingly detailed portraits of trains and volunteers as a tour guide at a toy train
museum in Porterville, CA. His drawings attract buyers and admirers at craft shows and that’s his
ultimate happiness.  

Crosshairs  - 8.5 min. Matt Stryker, Austin, TX and West Orange, NJ
Director’s Choice Selection
A vulnerable boy goes on a first hunting foray with his father. There’s a less than positive lesson
bound up in the father’s “manly” activities and prerogatives. The prey found occupying the dense
woodlands is undreamed of.

The Good Old Days - 4.5 min. by Neil Ira Needleman, Katonah, NY 
Director’s Choice Selection
In this charming work an artist with multiple sclerosis shares the story of his sudden shift from being
a “Realist” to being an “Abstract Expressionist” brought on by an ironic twist of fate.

Descending A Staircase - 5 min. by Wenhua Shi, Hamilton, NY
Jurors’ Citation Selection
In this painterly, silent video poem, a figure descents a nearly endless staircase, in a salute to
Marcel Duchamp’s legendary Dadist composition, Nude Descending a Staircase.

There’s a Dead Crow Outside - 1 min. by Morgan Miller, Brooklyn, NY
Jurors’ Citation Selection
There's a Dead Crow outside. The flies are buzzing, and the raccoon is hungry.  


Jurors’ Stellar Selections = First Place
Jurors’ Choice Selections = Second Place
Jurors’ Citation Selections = Third Place
Director’s Choice Selections = Fourth Place