From the Founder and Artistic Director, John ColumbusThe Black Maria film studio was the world's first purpose built motion picture studio. It was erected in 1893 by Thomas Edison to facilitate the production of the earliest moving images known to exist. Edison's motion picture technology allowed previously unimagined expressive possibilities and freed creative individuals to interpret and represent, and audiences to experience the world as never before. It is this pioneering and adventuresome spirit of innovation, and the pursuit of fresh, bold, insightful, passionate, and diverse independent filmmaking that drives the Festival's mission.
We welcome the opportunity to share the works in every festival tour with audiences across the country, and earnestly thank all of the independent film and videomakers who have shared their creative output with us over three decades.
We are indebted to our longstanding, as well as our new host institutions and sponsors. Without your resources, facilities, and generous support - the Festival could not exist.
Each year, we publish a monograph to accompany the program notes found in our festival tour catalog. Our aim is to make a contribution to the body of thought on film, video, media, aesthetics, politics, and exhibition.