Some of the world’s best and most unusual films of 2001 are being featured today at the Black Maria Film Competition and Festival in Des Moines. During the festival, a screening of 17 award winners will be shown in four categories. Jill Pihlajai is museum education director at the Des Moines Art Center. She says the categories are: documentary, experimental, animation and narrative. Entries from across the U-S and many other countries are being featured, including one from an Iowa filmmaker. Pihlaja says she’s only read about “Spillway” by Katherine Webster of North Liberty.It’s a four-minute, color, 16-millimeter abstract film about views of water in late September. Many of the “shorts” are just a few minutes long while the longest film runs 57-minutes. Pihlaja says a more traditional work of art, like a painting or sculpture, doesn’t necessarily demand the attention that films do. She says that’s why festivals like this one are important to showcase these works.Today’s the second and final day of the festival. It runs from 1 to 3 P-M. Admission is free. Black Maria was the name of the world’s first film studio, built by Thomas Edison in New Jersey.
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