Thomas Edison Film Festival

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Date & Time

Date: Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm



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The Thomas Edison Film Festival

Friday October 22, 2021

Doors at 7:00pm

Tickets $15


Since 1981, the Thomas Edison Film Festival has been celebrating and preserving the diversity, invention, and vitality of the short film. The Festival was originally 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. Edison’s films did for the eye what his phonograph did for the ear. He made 75, 20-second long films in the “Black Maria.” The earliest included magic shows, plays, vaudeville shows with dancers and strongmen, cowboys, boxing matches, kisses, and sneezes.

Renamed in 2021, The Thomas Edison Film Festival (TEFF) is an international juried film competition. TEFF has embraced its mission for decades by focusing on short films including those which shine a light on issues and struggles within contemporary society. TEFF 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 may not have the opportunity for live public exhibition.

TEFF welcomes all genres including narrative, experimental, animation, and documentary that push the boundaries of film. The festival’s touring collection addresses topics such as the environment, public health, climate change, substance abuse, gun violence, sustainability, immigration, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ issues. Short films are celebrated as central to the festival – not as a sidebar to feature length films.

Last Stop for Lost Property – Documentary
13 min. By Vicente Cueto, Brooklyn, NY, US

Dep underground, as millions rush through the New York City subway system, countless items get left behind. The MTA’s gargantuan Lost Property Unit is near impossible to navigate alone. Luckily, Sonny Drayton can point us in the right direction. Through his humor and intimate personal knowledge of the subway, Sonny invites us to consider what it means to lose and be lost underground, often the last stop for those who’ve fallen through the social safety net and have nowhere else to go. “Last Stop for Lost Property” questions how we value the artifacts of our lives: big and small, cherished and dismissed, tangible and existential.


BoxBallet – Animation
15 min. By Anton Dyakov, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

One day, a delicate ballerina named Olya meets the rough, surly boxer Evgeny. The contrast between their worlds and their philosophies is so sharp that even the possibility of these two characters crossing paths seems incredible. Are they ready to embrace those shy feelings that have sprung up between them? Can they overcome all external influences and allow their fragile loving souls to step out into the open?


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Narrative
12 min. By Shiyue Xu, Tianjin, China; Glendale, CA, US

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is the story of a boy’s pursuit to achieve his dream of becoming a pianist but having to give up his dream when reality sets in. The song of the same name was used and adapted tinto various compositions to mirror the stages and challenges of his life from boy to man. 


Kapaemahu – Animation
8 in. by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson, Honolulu, HI, US

Long ago, four extraordinary individuals of both male and female spirit brought the healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii. Beloved by the people for their gentle ways and miraculous cures, they imbued four giant boulders with their powers The stones still stand on what is now Waikiki Beach, but the true story behind them has been hidden — until now. Narrated in ancient Hawaiian dialect, “Kapaemahu” brings this powerful legend back to life in vivid animation, seen through the eyes of a curious child


Pipo and Blind Love – Narrative
13 min. by Hugo Le Gourrierec, Paris, France

In a dehumanized world where emotions are rationed and measured by a gauge, Pipo, a factory worker, falls in love with a woman sitting on a bench. He will try anything to attract her attention and seduce her with his own “language.”


Lost Lula – Animation
3 min. By Steven Vander Meer, Arcata, CA, US

“Having practiced life drawing (the study of the live human figure in art) for many years, I felt the need to animate my figures, but not in the typical way that a human being moves.” Steven Vander Meer’s figures flow in and out of existence much like their ephemeral poses during drawing sessions. The rhythm and tempo of the music, results in a kind of two-dimensional dance of lines on a surface. 


Tumbling Towards Home – Documentary
14 min. By Imelda O’Reilly, NY, NY and Kildare Ireland. 

“Tumbling Towards Home” is a coming-of-age story about Malcom Adams, an Irish immigrant who moves to New York in 1989 to study acting under Alan Langdon. He works through the grief from the loss of his mother and his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman. This leads to his decision of where to put his hat down and call it home. 


De-Eschatology – Experimental
5 min. By Charly Santagado and Eriell Santagado, Metuchen, NJ, US

“De-Eschatology” is a physical manifestation of the claustrophobic conditions created by the Covid-19 crisis and the yearning to break free from them. The piece seeks to draw attention to a heightened sense of touch, which directly results from the lack of physical contact many in quarantine face. The film’s trajectory explores the gradual de-escalation of shelter-in-place orders, and its psychological effects. 


Beyond Noh – Animation
3 min. By Patrick Smith, NY, NY, US and Kaori Ishida, Osaka, Japan

“Beyond Noh” rhythmically animates 3,475 individual masks from all over the world, beginning with the distinctive masks of the Japanese Noh theater and continuing on a cultural journey through ritual, performance, utility, and politics.


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