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Salem Film Fest

Filmmaker FAQ

 salem-film-fest 2015

Submissions vs Selections

Salem Film Fest is an invitation-only documentary film festival. We narrow down the actual films we view for consideration by investigating them before requesting submissions. If we think it is a possible fit, we will then ask for screening copies. If it doesn’t appear to be a fit, we would rather spare filmmakers the expense of making and sending those copies. This approach has helped us create a more curated roster of films and allowed us to avoid charging submission fees to filmmakers. In turn, all the feature length films we end up selecting to screen at the festival receive honorariums.

We are particularly interested in films that our audience may not get a chance to see elsewhere on the big screen. We love films that break the obvious form, create conversation and tell great stories with strong techniques and interesting characters.

We are looking exclusively for documentary features (45 minutes and above). If you are a student at a Massachusetts college or university and would like to submit a short documentary or experimental documentary film (25 min. or less, minimum of 3 min.) for consideration for our “Mass Reality Check” college doc shorts showcase, please read all of our submission guidelines, and if your film meets the criteria please contact us at

If you are interested in having a film considered, please send us a link where we can see a sample of that film and read more about it. This will give us a better idea whether we think it might be a fit for Salem Film Fest. Generally we begin reaching out to filmmakers in mid September. We look at films through early January.

Jeff Schmidt
Salem Film Fest Program Director