b"wastolookforfilmmak- Events That Matter Summerers who were telling largely untoldstoriesinoriginalMaplewood Memorial Librarycontdways, Mertes adds.July 176:30PM Author Talk with Maplewoodian Jon That was the easy part.Michaud, Last Call at Coogans tells the story of a I wanted to know howbeloved Washington Heights saloon, and touches on far I could push the enve- serious issues facing the countrylopeofwhatwaspossibleJuly 316:30PM The History & Mystery of Tarot, Erol toshowtoapublictele-visionaudience,sheex- Delos Santos will explain the history of Tarot and the plains. This was an inspira- messages they convey, a divination practice that datesJon Michaudtional time for Mertes, whoto the mid-15th centuryfound artists with messagesAug 10 6:30PM Books Now & Then Group, The August thathadntbeentold.Shetitle is Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, worked for years with somewhich is inspired by Dickens David Copperfield and filmmakershelpingthemfollows a young heros journey to maturitydevelop their stories.DETAILS Hilton Branch Library, 1688 Springfield Avenue, Most of the time when IMaplewood, 973-762-1688; maplewoodlibrary.orgam identifying powerful and innovative films, I dont startMontclair Filmoff saying, this is going to beHale County, This Morning, This Evening, by RaMell Ross was nominated for an Academy Award, andJune 207:30PM Taylor Macs 24 Decade History of a hit, she says. Her intuitionwon a Peabody. Popular Music, Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein about these stories and story- and Jeffrey Friedman adapt Macs one-time only, tellers has paid off. After providing sup- askedshepullsoutafewshefeels24-hour, tour de force performance in all its righteous port like grants, jobs and advice, manymoved the needle on public awareness. outrage and radical humanity into a feature-length artists have created documentaries thatHaleCounty,ThisMorning,Thisdocumentary show stunning and unique journeys.Evening, by RaMell Ross, is about theJune 24 10AM Sensory friendly screening of Theproofisinthepudding.lives of black people in Hale County, Mertes bio boasts (though she doesnt)Alabama. It has a non-linear storylineElemental featuring relaxed, soft lights, moderated that she has been the executive pro- capturing events from within the com- volume and limited number of trailers.ducer of three Academy Award-nom- munity. It is described as a visual sym- DETAILS The Clairidge, 486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, 973-381-inated films; and as a funder, she hasphony, was nominated for an Acad- 5588; theclairidge.orgsupported a number of Oscar winnersemy Award, and won a Peabody. and nominees. MertesalsorecommendsStrongSouth Orange Performing Arts CenterSomestoriesaremostimpactfulIsland,directedbyYanceFord.ThisJune 24 8PM Best of the Eagles, Founded in 2012 by when not told chronologically, Mertesdocumentary focuses on the murder ofworld-class musicians from central New Jersey, the points out. These are emotional sto- a 24-year-old Black teacher and its af- Best of the Eagles (BOTE) encapsulates the aura of one ries, and work best when not chainedtermath. Strong Island was notable forof Americas classic rock bands.to a timeline. Often it took years ofits unflinching portrayal of the mur- June 25 7PM SOPAC Celebrates Pride, SOPAC hosts thought and reworking of projects toder. Additionally, Ford was the firstits first-ever drag show get the stories ready to be told. trans director nominated in the field.July 27 7:30PM Ladies of Laughter, the first night of Mertes eventually went to work forStrongIslandpremieredatSundance the Sundance Institutes Documentaryin2017andwasnominatedforanall-female comedy at SOPACFilm Program, where she helped buildEmmy and an Academy Award. June 30 8PM An Evening with Maggie Haberman, and direct a multimillion dollar bud- While her success in the world ofPulitzer Prize winner Haberman opens audiences eyes get to support up to 50 documentarydocumentary film is evident, one of thewith a remarkably informed perspective on power and films annually. Her goal was to expandthings people dont know about Mertespolitics in the nations capitalthe creative documentary film indus- is that she is a member of the AcademyDETAILS One SOPAC Way, South Orange; SOPACnow.org try globally.of Motion Pictures. When I became aMaggie HabermanAfter eight years and a lot of fre- member almost 20 years ago, the docu- Maplewood Village Alliancequentflyermilesearned,Mertesre- mentary branch of the Academy wasJune 24 6PM Drag Queen Bingo, Harmonica turned to New York to work for themostly directors. But people made the Ford Foundation, directing their Just- case that the Academy needed peopleSunbeam hosts six rounds of hilarious, charismatic, free, Filmsfundfordocumentariesinter- who were making comprehensive con- family-friendly bingo, with prizesnationally.Hermissionexpandedtotributions in other ways. (Mertes hasJuly 16:30PM Star Spangled Trivia Night, Suburban support dozens of films each year, withdirected, but spends most of her timeLegend runs a trivia game for the whole familysubjectmatterspanningAsia,Africaproducing.) Since then, she says, theJuly 296:30PM A Totally 80s Theater Celebrationand the Americas.floodgatesopened. TodaytheAcad-DETAILS Maplewood Village, 973-762-4556; Bring lawn chairs and The body of work she was respon- emy is twice as big as when I joined. friends, grab some takeout and enjoy entertainment on Maplewood sible for was now enormous. But whenIt may not be a surprise that whenAvenue throughout the summer; maplewoodvillagenj.com cont'd on p. 32feature story /31"