Back by popular demand, this third and final screening for 2019 from the 38th annual tour of the renowned Black Maria Film Festival at Princeton University, follows the February Festival Premiere screening that had a standing-room-only audience, and a spring program focusing on documentary. These eight new short narrative and animated films, introduced by Festival Director Jane Steuerwald, focus on fiction-based storytelling through live-action and animation.


3 men in woodsTIGER, OAK & ECHO

Narrative, 19 min.
by Cy Kuckenbaker (San Diego, CA)

Young Echo longs to join his older brother in the guerilla war against the Soviet army occupying his homeland, Lithuania. He persuades his brother, Tiger, to let him join in a risky ambush. But when he makes a mistake before the battle, he has to choose – tell the truth and be left behind or stay quiet and join the fight. Set in 1950, the story is based on real political events and is the first English language fiction film about the Lithuanian conflict.



mand and woman by car with hood upSTONE ON STONE

Narrative, 8 min.
by Mohsen Serajian (Tehran, Iran)

An Iranian family decides to kill an innocent woman because of her alleged adultery. Her husband’s friend is commissioned to do the murder. While he drives her outside of the city to do what is expected, their conversation takes an unexpected turn.



person in gas maskRECHARGE

Narrative, 12 min.
by Christopher Meyer (Seattle, WA)

Employees at a battery-testing facility are regularly attacked while commuting across a hostile dystopian wasteland. When his car breaks down, Employee Number 235-4 is forced to confront one of the attackers, face to face.



colorful person by floating headBRAINWORM BILLY

Animation, 3 min.
by Emily Hubley (East Orange, NJ)

A young man is haunted by a famous comedian.



person in gas mask MEETING MACGUFFIN

Animation, 10 min.
by Catya Plate (Brooklyn, NY)

In a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has fallen apart, a group of scientists and an animated sign complete the construction of a new human race and meet a groundhog climatologist who prepares them for their mission to restore balance to a decimated Earth.



black dogBLACK DOG

Narrative, 6 min.
by Wooseok Shin (Seoul, South Korea)

“Black dog syndrome” is the name for the phenomenon in which dark-coated dogs are overlooked in shelters in favor of lighter-colored dogs. Don’t overlook that dark-coated beauty waiting in the shadows. You may be overlooking your new best friend.



figure on bed by candlesmOT

Narrative, 21 min.
by Andrew Kastenmeier (Florianópolis, Brazil)

An odd homeless boy with a mysterious past invades a stranger’s home, befriends him, and protects a goldfish with which he has a curiously powerful bond, in this quiet tale of love and mortality.



blue figure by mailboxRANDOM THOUGHTS

Animation, 7 min.
by Steven Vander Meer (Arcata, CA)

Having recently completed a film made of circles and personal health problems, our hero ships his masterpiece off in a box to a film festival. As he makes his way to the festival on foot, his thoughts reveal how inspiration can come to a creative spirit from anywhere, about anything, at any given time. After the festival, on his walk back home, the filmmaker feels super inspired and can hardly wait to start his next project – until, that is, he gets to his mailbox…






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.


Alexander Street, between Lawrence Drive in Princeton and Canal Pointe Boulevard in West Windsor, will close for about six months beginning on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, for road construction.

Construction makes traveling to campus more time consuming. Traffic congestion from all routes to campus during peak times (weekdays, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) will be higher than normal. Drivers traveling to campus along Route 1 will see the greatest delays.

Visit for the most current information on detour routes, parking, and tips for planning your visit to campus.

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Presented By

  • Program in Visual Arts