This Friday, June 3 at 2pm, Newark will take another step in ownership of it’s rich history. State Street, which runs between Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. and Broad St. will be renamed Hannibal Goodwin Way in honor of Rev. Hannibal Goodwin, the Episcopal priest who invented celluloid film in Newark in 1887. The corner of Broad Street and State Street is the location of the Plume house, probably the oldest standing house in Newark, where Goodwin created celluloid film.
A significant motivation behind the Newark International Film Festival – and the street renaming – is the importance of Newark owning and celebrating it’s contributions to the world throughout history. Many of Newark’s contributions have been missed by the general public in some cases, and in others, wrongly attributed to others.
In a 2011 article in WIRED magazine, Goodwin’s invention and legal battle with Eastman Kodak (who are generally credited with the invention of film) is outlined, including how Goodwin was two years ahead of Eastman Kodak in the invention of film and how eventually, after Goodwin’s death and the sale of his company to Anco by his wife, the court awarded $5 million in Goodwin’s (posthumous) favor – which would be worth $111 million today.
The 2016 Newark International Film Festival is slated for September 9-11, and will include film screenings, workshops, receptions, and an awards ceremony. Currently, over 140 films have been submitted from over 30 countries across the globe.