2019 Premiere Screening in the James Stewart Film Theater. Photo by Theresa Loong

To kick off its 38th annual tour, the renowned international Black Maria Film Festival will present the Stellar Award-winning films chosen by the jury for the 2019 season in partnership with Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Festival Director Jane Steuerwald introduces the program featuring short documentary, narrative, and animated films. Filmmakers Lynn Tomlinson and Kelly Gallagher will be present to discuss their work.

The pre-screening reception starts at 7:00 p.m. at 185 Nassau Street. Both the reception and screening are free and open to the public; no tickets required. Free parking is available behind 185 Nassau Street in Lot #10 on Williams Street in Princeton.




Animation, 15 min.
by RACHEL JOHNSON (Los Angeles, CA)
Winner of 2019 Jury’s Stellar Award

A determined young woman, crippled with a severe hunchback, will stop at nothing to fulfill her dream of seeing the world. This is the story of how she finds happiness.




Documentary, 15 min.
by KELLY GALLAGHER (Chester Springs, PA)
Winner of 2019 Jury’s Stellar Award

Incorporating live-action, stop-motion and digital animation, this personal documentary colorfully explores the radical importance of women’s close friendships. The filmmaker examines her relationship with her own best friend, and how women’s friendships were historically weaponized against them.



green eye


Narrative, 8 min.
by JORGE MALPICA (Catalonia, Mexico)
Winner of 2019 Jury’s Stellar Award

Warned by Circe, the Goddess, Ulysses orders his men to tie him to his ship’s mast. Thus, preventing him from surrendering to the enchanting mermaid’s call, which devoured the unwary men seduced by it.



man with cupped ears


Narrative, 10 min.
by TAKESHI KUSHIDA (Tokyo, Japan)
Winner of 2019 Jury’s Stellar Award

A lonely man becomes fascinated with a shadow that appears on the wall of his apartment.



man with elephant plowTHE ELEPHANT’S SONG

Animation, 8 min.
by LYNN TOMLINSON (Owings Mills, MD)
Winner of 2019 Global Insights Stellar Award

The Elephant’s Song tells the true and tragic tale of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, as recounted in song by her friend, an old farm dog. Their story is portrayed in colorful, handcrafted animation, created frame by frame with clay-on-glass animation, where oil-based modeling clay is spread thinly on a glass sheet and moved frame-by-frame like a moving finger painting. Old Bet the elephant sings the choruses, which are animated with oil pastel on video frames printed from archival films, paintings, and photographs.


The Black Maria Film Festival attracts and nationally showcases the work of independent film and video makers. The festival is a project of the Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium, an independent non-profit organization. The festival was founded in 1981 as a tribute to Thomas Edison’s development of the motion picture at his laboratory, dubbed the “Black Maria” film studio, the first in the world, in West Orange, New Jersey.

The Black Maria Film Festival annually conducts an international juried competition. Following the extensive pre-screening and jurying process by experts in the field of film curation, media studies and production, the festival launches its year-long tour traveling to museums, colleges and universities, libraries, cinemas, and arts venues. Black Maria received over 400 submissions for the 2019 festival tour from every continent around the globe, save Antarctica. The highly regarded festival jurors, Margaret Parsons, Head Curator of Film at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and Henry Baker, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and former director of Synapse Video Center, chose 55 films for the 2019 collection and awarded the top prizes.

Venues interested in scheduling a screening should contact Festival Director Jane Steuerwald at

To learn more about the Black Maria Film Festival and Thomas Edison Media Arts Consortium, visit


Map + Directions

The James Stewart Film Theater is located on the first floor at 185 Nassau Street in Princeton.

Free parking is available behind 185 Nassau Street in Lot #10 on Williams Street in Princeton.

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

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Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts