Sparta, NJ  – Train Creative is pleased to announce a showing of the 37th Annual Black Maria Film Festival at the Sparta Train Station on June 15 with a screening and Q&A, marking the first time that the film festival has been featured in Sparta, NJ.

Since 1981, the Black Maria Film Festival, an international juried film competition, has been celebrating and preserving the diversity, invention, and vitality of the short film. The Festival is named after Thomas Edison’s original West Orange film studio dubbed the “Black Maria” because of its resemblance to the black-box police paddy wagons of the same name.

The Festival focuses on short films which shine a light on issues and struggles within contemporary society. It advances and exhibits the work of diverse filmmakers from across the US and around the world. These artists often represent an under-served constituency who might not otherwise have the opportunity for live public exhibition nationwide or abroad.  The festival travels the world and each presentation showcases a different selection of films depending on the venue. 

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“I’ve been following the Black Maria Film Festival since the mid 1980’s when I was a student at the University of Delaware.  I am so happy that the folks who run and own the Sparta Train Station and Train Creative have decided to host this world renown event.  Not only is it a great venue to see exciting short films that are thought provoking, but the viewing will expose the community to different types of film techniques.  For anyone who interested in any aspects film making, this is a great resource.  Who knows, we might inspire a future academy award winner.”  Nicole Francoeur, Rose City Framemakers

There will be a question and answer discuss after the viewing with Jane Steuerwald, Executive Director of the Black Maria Film Festival. Light refreshments will be provided. Discussion will include not only the subject matter of the films, but the film processes involved in the making of each film and what made each film a winner by the Black Maria’s judges.

The festival viewing will be held on Friday, June 15, at the Sparta Train Station at 30 Station Road in Sparta.  Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts promptly at 7pm.  The length of the show will be approximately 90 minutes with Q&A afterwards.  Admission is $10 and can be purchased at the door or prior to the event at traincreative.org/events/312.  Space is limited to 50 attendees. This is not an event for small children, but high school aged youth are welcome.  The Sparta Train Station is an ADA compliant space.

The mission of Train Creative is to facilitate community learning experiences for creative education to increase arts and humanities awareness in our community while preserving architecture, locations and landscapes. In preserving our heritage, they wish to inspire people to form a lifelong love of design. They provide access to a comfortable, affordable, and well-maintained space to learn, teach, create, and share knowledge of creative skills from yesterday, today and tomorrow.