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Film Festival's Madison Stop Includes Talk With Artists

The Black Maria Film and Video Festival comes to the Madison Public Library next Friday night.

Three artists behind the new short film "Bartleby," including the artistic director of Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, who appears in the film, will be on hand for a post-viewing talkback session when the Black Maria Film and Video Festival makes a stop at the Madison Public Library on Friday, March 1.

The adaptation of Herman Melville’s "Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of the films that will be shown during the festival tour stop.

The event is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, March 1, in the library's Chase Room. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The evening will feature some of the 50 short films and videos that were selected from more than 700 entries for the festival, according to a news release from the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance, which is sponsoring the festival stop.

The annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour that takes its name from Thomas Edison's film studio, has showcased "cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers" since 1981.

“The Black Maria tour is an exciting evening of film and video," said Deborah Starker of the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance. "It’s not often that we can see innovative and well-constructed short films in a community setting. The shows are balanced and excellently curated. John Columbus presents a compelling and knowledgeable narrative that places the films in context and helps us to gain an insight into the more challenging work."

"Bartleby," from South Orange filmmakers Gerard Amsellem, who directed the piece, and Richard Stephen Bell, who adapted the screenplay, has received a 2013 Director’s Citation from the Black Maria Film Festival and recently was made an "official selection” to screen at the Garden State Film Festival in April. Bell also is featured in the movie, along with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey’s Artistic Director John Pietrowski. Amsellem, Bell, and Pietrowski will be present in Madison next Friday to talk about the film.

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