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Still from Alone Beneath the Northern Lights (2022), courtesy Valentin Boitel-Denyset

Thomas Edison Film Festival

Art Films and Special Screenings

Art Films and Special Screenings

  • Saturday, August 13, 2022
  • 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • In-person
  • Registration Required

Registration is required.

Enjoy award-winning short films from Australia, England, France, Puerto Rico, and the US.

About the Thomas Edison Film Festival

Since 1987, Thomas Edison Film Festival (formerly the Black Maria) has advanced the unique creative power of the short film form. This two-part program celebrates award winners and includes highlights from across numerous genres, including narrative, experimental, animation, documentary, screen dance, and hybrids.

Executive Director Jane Steuerwald will introduce both events.

About Program One
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Watch ten shorts by makers from England, the US, and Puerto Rico uniquely highlight human experiences and connections with the “natural” world.


See a single footprint rapidly escalate into patterns of human travel in the form of ‘abstract lines’ within the natural world to evoke meaning. (Osbert Parker, London, England, 5 minutes)

Compositions for Understanding Relationships

Using the concept of the “love letter,” watch how various forms of relationships are taken in and out of the romantic context. (David De La Fuente, New York, USA, 5 minutes)


Using 3D animated photos, observe how this film lyrically re-examines our relationship with urban plant life in the urgent context of biodiversity loss and climate crisis. (Zillah Bowes, Cardiff, England, 4 minutes)

Clear Creek

Watch two women dance through iconic western images and into something new: a moving portrait of home, land and memory as illuminated by the voices of a rural Wyoming community. (Ellen Smith Ahern, New Hampshire, and Kate Elias, Washington, USA, 8 minutes)

The Wake

While a wake is held in his parents' funeral business in “small town USA,” watch a restless 15-year-old break into the deceased's house, counting on it being empty. (Luis Gerard, Puerto Rico, and New York, USA, 24 minutes)

My Brother is Deaf

View a moving, personal film told through the heart and mind of a boy with a deaf younger brother. (Peter Hoffman Kimball, Maryland, USA, 10 minutes)

The Sticklet Weaver

Watch a portrait of Brent Brown, a self-taught artist with lifelong mental health challenges. (James Hollenbaugh, Pennsylvania, USA, 7 minutes)

Babbit and the Dream Tree

Watch as Babbit puts on a play to express his feelings through dance for the first time and is surprised by the result. (Jeremy Mann, California, USA, 12 minutes)

Hello Sunshine

Despite many hardships, see how Roz Pichardo channels her trauma into service by helping the often-forgotten people of North Philadelphia. (Joe Quint, New York, USA, 13 minutes)


Watch as five unique individuals take us on a journey where their achievements shine beyond preconceived ideas of what is possible. (Timon Birkhofer, California, USA, 4 minutes)

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

About Program Two
2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

See seven disparate shorts from France, the US, and Australia all draw attention to the physicality of their subjects.

Rivage (The Shore)

Watch as Eva is drawn to the sea and her body merges with the landscape; this film depicts an in-between world, between life and death, where borders are porous. (Lisa Fuchs, France, 40 minutes)

Alone Beneath the Northern Lights

Enjoy a short film that includes quotes such as: “A winter beyond the Arctic Circle, I open the door of a wooden hut lost in the heart of the white landscapes, far from any civilization. The northern lights blaze the skies.” (Valentin Boitel-Denyset, France, 7 minutes)


Watch how rowing through space, self, and consciousness, the math of the universe unfolds. (Timothy David Orme, California, USA, 8 minutes)


For fear of being killed by boredom, see how a new retiree gets involved in the crazy project of building a boat in the cellar of his suburban house. (Yannick Karcher, France, 16 minutes)

A Parisian Circus

Watch an audiovisual collage, mixing the routines, thoughts, and artistry of circus performers during lockdown. (Hugo Besson, France, 11 minutes)

Ten Degrees of Strange

Taking inspiration from The Epic of Gilgamesh, watch an animation that's a story of loss and hope in nature told through colorful, shifting, changing, morphing clay on glass. (Lynn Tomlinson, Maryland, USA, 4 minutes)

Digital Afterlives

See how a man in white-winged shoes in an infinite black space is awakened by the strains of Franz Liszt’s Totentanz (The Dance of the Dead). (Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman, New South Wales, Australia, 5 minutes)