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Black Maria Film Festival Brings "Bartleby" to South Orange

Richard Stephen Bell

Monday, April 15, 2013 • 10:44pm

(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) Through a sponsorship from the South Orange Public Library, the Black Maria Film and Video Festival will make a stop at the South Orange Library, 65 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ, on Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 pm.  The event is free to the public. 

The April 16th program will include the short film Bartleby, from South Orange filmmakers Gerard Amsellem, who directed the piece, and Richard Stephen Bell, who adapted the screenplay from Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener. Bell is also featured in the movie, along with Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey’s Artistic Director John Pietrowski. The film has received a 2013 Director’s Citation from the Black Maria Film Festival and recently completed a run at the Garden State Film Festival. Amsellem, Bell, and Pietrowski will be present for a post-viewing talkback session.

The evening will feature a number of short films and videos from 50 winning films selected from over 700 entries. Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film and Video Festival, an international juried competition and award tour, has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting edge works from independent film and videomakers.  Named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,“ the festival is known for its national public exhibition program, which features a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection. Every program presentation in the tour is custom curated to specific audiences and virtually every program is presented by the Festival Director John Columbus. The festival is named after The Black Maria, Thomas Edison’s film studio, the first such film studio in history. The festival website can be found at www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.

Set on the shores of the Atlantic and in the law offices of a hard-working Wall Street attorney, the short film Bartleby takes a fresh look at the lanky man who walked into a quiet law office and sent it into an uproar with four simple words. In addition to locals Amsellem and Bell, Maplewood resident Michael Cotler is the film’s editor, and the original music is by South Orange resident Steve Girardi.  Cinematography is provided by Dunellen resident Mark Menditto. Also acting in the film are West Orange actor, Rick Zahn, and South Orange actress, Meredith Rush-Bell.

More information about Bartleby can be found at www.imdb.com/title/tt2572034/ and www.BartlebyTheShortFilm.com.

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