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Black Maria Film FestivalThe Black Maria Film Festival’s 36th anniversary tour, will visit the UW-Fond du Lac Prairie Theater, 400 University Dr., Fond du Lac, Wis. on Apr. 6 and Apr. 20 at 6:30 p.m. This is the only venue in Wisconsin on the 2017 tour. 

On Apr. 6, the screening will include documentaries, experimental, animation and narrative films. The focus is on short films that address issues and struggles within contemporary society such as the environment; public health; race and class; family; sustainability and much more. 

On Apr. 20, the program features “The Land Beneath Our Feet,” a powerful documentary film produced and directed by Gregg Mitman and Sarita Siegel, with associate producer Jojin Van Winkle of UW-Madison. Emmanuel Urey, the Liberian man centrally featured in the film, and Van Winkle, will be present to talk about the film and lead a question and answer period.

The film weaves together rare archival footage from a 1926 Harvard expedition to Liberia, with the journey of Urey, a former refugee from Liberia’s second civil war. Today, Urey is pursuing a doctoral degree in the United States, while helping to advance land reforms in Liberia.

These events are sponsored by the UW-Fond du Lac Fine Arts and Lecture Committee.

The Black Maria Film 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. The festival attracts and showcases the work of independent filmmakers internationally. This season, submissions came from every continent around the world except Antarctica.

The festival is a project of the Thomas A. Edison Media Arts Consortium, an independent non-profit organization in residence at New Jersey City University’s Department of Media Arts. 


Kathy Strong-Langolf