Black Maria Film and Video Festival: Documentary Shorts

In Rhinebeck 
October 2
Thursday 8pm
Tickets $12/$11/$10
Thursday October 2nd, Upstate Films will host The Black Maria Film Festival, along with three guest speakers — Festival Director Jane Steuerwald and film directors Theresa Loong and Jay Weichun. We will screen four short documentary films, followed by a q&a at the theater and drinks at Liberty Restaurant (cash bar).
The films that form the centerpiece of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture. The cutting edge work that makes up the festival’s touring program focuses on exceptional short films that are not presented as sidebars to feature length films; they are the heart and soul of the festival.
The program will include the following shorts:

  • A Place of Spirit (Natalie Conn and Jay Weichun, Brooklyn, NY) The story of Andrea Phillips, a Staten Island based artist facing eviction from her home after 44 years.
  • Families Are Forever (Caitlin Ryan and Vivian Kleiman, San Francisco, CA.) Tom and Wendy are devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community when they discover that their son is gay.
  • The Apothecary (Helen Hood Scheer, Palo Alto, CA.) In an impoverished former mining town in the American Southwest, a beloved druggist runs the community’s main hub: the sole pharmacy within 4,000 square miles. He eagerly plays multiple roles as surrogate doctor, life counselor, and community benefactor. His sanguine public persona, however, belies a long-suffered private pain for which there is no drug, no cure, and no relief.
  • Every Day is a Holiday (Theresa Loong, New York, NY.) Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. One day, she discovered his diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make ‘every day a holiday’ if he survived. “Every Day is a Holiday” tells the painful but life-affirming story of her father’s unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States.
This project is made possible in part with public funds from NYSCA’s’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (
Click here for the Black Maria Film Festival website