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Maine native's work featured in Black Maria Film Festival

Bowdoin native Kerry Laitala is one of several filmmakers whose works will be featured at the Museum of Art’s screenings of the 17th annual Black Maria Film, Video and Animation Festival¬† Saturday, May 2, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m. in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Appriximately 18 of the winning entries will be shown in the two screenings. Admission is $5 for each screening, and tickets can be purchased at the door.

Laitala’s entry to the international festival, Secure the Shadow, was recognized with a Director’s Choice award. John Columbus, the festival’s director, describes Laitala’s film as “meditation steeped in melancholia…utilizing antique medical stereoscopic images, which are simultaneously disturbing and beautiful.” The artist also has won other film awards, including the prestigious Princess Grace Award last year.

The May 2 program of nine works will, for the most part, contain films that explore political, personal and sexual issues from women’s perspectives. The May 3 program will be more “painterly,” said Columbus, “more visually sensual,” and will feature Laitala’s film.

Named after Thomas Edison’s experimental tar-paper shack studio, the Black Maria has been an international forum for cutting-edge independent filmmakers for seventeen years and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s finest.

“The Black Maria celebrates fiercely independent vision,” Columbus said. “The festival exhibits work that is not typically available anywhere else and takes it on national tour. As in the past, I expect that some of our pieces will go on to be nominated for and receive Academy Awards.”

For more information, contact the Bates College Museum of Art at 207-786-6158.



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