The Black Maria Film and Video Festival returns to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

EUGENE, Ore. – (May 6, 2014) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s monthly Schnitzer Cinema brings back The Black Maria Film and Video Festival on Wednesday, May 14, at 7:00 p.m. A phone introduction with festival director John Columbus begins the evening. Cosponsored with the Cinema Pacific film festival, Schnitzer Cinema is the JSMA's monthly showcase for adventurous cinema and media art. Schnitzer Cinema screenings are free and include popcorn and soda.


“The Black Maria Film and Video Festival tour is a wonderfully eclectic mix of experimental, documentary, and narrative works that always satisfy our local audience,” says Richard Herskowitz, artistic director of Cinema Pacific and Schnitzer Cinema curator.


Ten short films are featured in this year’s selection, including two shorts by filmmakers from Portland, Oregon: “Lord I: The Records Keeper,” the story of a young woman archivist, directed by Lori Damiano; and “Split Ends,”  winner of the Directors’ Choice Award, directed by Johanna Priestley.


The Black Maria Film and Video Festival is an international juried competition with a mission to exhibit and reward cutting-edge works from independent film and video makers. The festival takes its name from the first motion picture studio, built by Thomas Edison in 1893, and is now in its thirty-second year and its fourth at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Approximately fifty jury and director’s prize-winning short films and videos go to more than 65 sites around the country, with each individual program tailored to the location of its screening.


“Lord I: The Records Keeper”
15 min. by Lori Damiano, Portland, OR
Jury’s Stellar Award
The story of a young woman archivist, devoted to preserving images and events no matter how fleeting. She shakes off the mental barnacles of the past as she journeys from her home in the forest to foreign places.  Finally, she is able to locate and embrace the present with the help of her wise mentor.

“Globe Trot”
4.5 min. by Mitchell Rose, Worthington, OH
Directors’ Choice Award
An international, crowd-sourced, dance-film project.  Fifty-four filmmakers on all seven continents each contribute two seconds of movement orchestrated by renowned choreographer Bebe Miller.

“5 Ways 2 Die”
16.5 min. by Daina Papadaki, Nicosia, Cyprus
Directors’’ Choice Award
How many ways are there to commit suicide? Can a suicide attempt be considered successful?  One cuckolded husband over-analyzes this subject, as he struggles to achieve his ideal result.

“Split Ends”
3.5 min. by Joanna Priestley, Portland, OR
Directors’ Choice Award
The luscious colors and delicate lines of “Split Ends” playfully animate full field patterns and reference mass-produced ornamental designs of the industrial era. North American wrapping papers from the 1960’s, and French and English wallpapers from the early 1900’s, inspired the delicate patterns. Sound designer/composer Seth Williams of Triage created the original score.

“Salmon Deadly Sins”
7 min. by Steven Vander Meer, Arcata, CA
Jury’s Choice Award
Five thousand salmon colored index cards, the seven deadly sins, bizarre anagrams and a host of serendipitous occurrences mingle in the artist's imagination and emerge as “Salmon Deadly Sins.” With music by Leftover Salmon, this flipbook style film is a moving drawing; each frame was created individually, by hand, on a 3x5 inch index card.  Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath are the inspiration for each chapter in this ingenious animation.

15 min. by Vinz Feller, Brooklyn, NY
Jury’s Stellar Award
Elisabeth's husband commits suicide and his last wish is for her to travel to Montauk, NY, where they met and fell in love many years ago. To honor him and scatter his ashes, she embarks on a journey from her home in Switzerland to the United States.  Her experience is filled with anger, acceptance and reconciliation.

“Wise Choice or Lucky Guess”
3.5 min. by Ellen Raines, Fox Point, WI
Directors’ Choice Award
A recently deceased man has to make a choice between heaven and hell, while sitting on an escalator.

“Watching, Waiting”
11 min. by Wesley Strick, Los Angeles, CA
Directors’ Choice Award
At a women's health clinic, a small, dedicated staff goes to work in the face of a subtle but pervasive sense of threat and danger. “Watching, Waiting” dramatizes an idealistic girl's first day of volunteer work with these caring professionals. Meanwhile, beyond the clinic's secure confines, a mysterious man is patiently watching and waiting. As the clock ticks and he moves from a hilltop perch to a sniper's nest behind a grove of mesquite trees, the tension steadily mounts. This film is a surprising look at the hot-button issue of women's reproductive rights by framing the controversy as a taut, thriller.

13.5 min. by Bryan Horch, Pelham, MA
Directors’ Choice Award
This romantic comedy follows two men and their epic quest for a grown-up bed. After finally convincing his partner to retire their beloved futon, Nelson goes off by himself to shop for a proper replacement. “Spooners” is a playful and humorous narrative film that brings to view the absurdities and contradictions of modern life.

4 min. by Celia Bullwinkel, Brooklyn, NY
Jury’s Citation Award
A woman walks through life, but her real journey is deep within as she confronts her changing body and learns to love herself.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About Cinema Pacific

Cinema Pacific is an annual film festival based at the University of Oregon that is devoted to discovering and fostering the creativity of international films and new media from Pacific-bordering countries, including the United States.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,

Cinema Pacific,