The Thomas A. Edison International Film Festival returns for its 41st year with a specially curated series of screenings in Toms River.

The festival was started in 1981 with the endorsement of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park when Artists’ Guild trustee John Columbus first proposed his idea.

According to the Ocean County Tourism site, the festival’s purpose has always been to exhibit works which magnify the art of the motion picture which Mr. Edison created over 100 years ago. Now the current festival director Jane Steuerwald and Columbus are collaborating on this special program.

This exclusive Ocean County Artists Guild event begins Saturday, July 16, at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5:45 p.m.

A $10 admission fee will help defray costs.

Some of the films being screened include:

  • A Parisian Circus – Documentary 11 min. by Hugo Besson, Paris, France In January 2021, the Covid-19 crisis paralyzed the world, and circus artists were stopped. “A Parisian Circus” is an audiovisual collage, mixing the routines, thoughts, and artistry of gifted circus performers who found a way to practice their craft throughout the Covid dilemma.


  • Alone beneath the Northern Lights – Documentary 7 min. by Valentin Boitel-Denyset, Paris, France The filmmaker lived for two months in a cottage in the wilds of Norway. He spent a winter 400 kilometers beyond the Arctic Circle. “I opened the door of my hideout in a white landscape, the northern lights blazed the skies, and the views were incredibly beautiful.


  • Digital Afterlives – Screen Dance 5 min. by Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman, Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia A man in white dances to the strains of Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz.” His gestures are repeated in a multi angled tapestry. It’s an energized procession of dopplegångers who criss-cross the screen in a wittily synchronized dance.


  • My Brother is Deaf – Documentary 10 min. by Peter Hoffman Kimball, Bethesda, MD A heart warming and personal film told from the point of view of a boy who’s younger brother is deaf. When the family learns that the younger boy is deaf, they do their best to comprehend what it means to live and cope with hearing loss.

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