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Perhaps no festival does more for short, experimental films than the Black Maria, the New Jersey-based event named for Thomas Edison’s original film studio. For 19 years, festival director John Columbus has not only provided a forum for such shorts, he’s also taken it on the road to such relatively un-arty places as Montgomery, Ala., and Wichita, Kan. And, of course, the traveling fest has a longstanding annual reservation at the Hirshhorn. This year’s lineup includes Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis’ When the Day Breaks, a ‘toon you may hear about again soon, since it has been nominated for an Academy Award. Other entries include Shanti Thakur’s Seven Hours to Burn, which contemplates the filmmaker’s mixed Danish and Indian heritage; Don Hertzfledt’s Billy’s Balloon, which toys with the premise of the well-known The Red Balloon; Veena Sud’s One Night, a pocket drama about a woman who hears an altercation outside her apartment; Peter Tscherkasky’s Outer Space, which offers a similarly distilled essence of horror flick; and Leighton Pierce’s Wood, which is about the filmmaker’s children. As always, there are also some abstract films, including two by Paul Winkler, Rotation and Capillary Action, whose hallucinatory effects were achieved with optical printing. At 8 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)