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Salem Film Fest 2016

SFF Advice: Arrive early and stay late

Posted March 3rd, 2016 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 3.19.23 PMBy Mary Beth Bainbridge

Salem Film Fest 2016 marks the ninth year of an extraordinary Fest.  Here is some advice on how to make the most of your Fest experience. To put it simply: arrive early and stay late.

Avoid disappointment—get your tickets early. You can get your tickets in advance at the CinemaSalem box office, thus avoiding any ticket
line or uncertainty whether you can see all the films on your carefully selected film itinerary.  Opening and closing night films are always the first to sell out. This year I predict DRIVING WITH SELVI and KEDI will sell out.

Arrive early. I suggest 30 or even 40 minutes early. Those minutes will be filled quickly. Stop in the CinemaSalem café to discover their latest liquid creations. While there, pick up some snazzy SFF merch—the proceeds help this growing Fest and you can look fashionable wearing the latest t-shirt. Get the new SFF tote bag, too, because you will want a place to stash your SFF cache. Obviously, you will want to visit the concession stand for the REAL butter on the popcorn at CinemaSalem!! IF you are an All-Access passholder, then you can be seated early in the theater, just like VIP boarding at the airlines.

Salem Film Fest offers musical interludes before some of the screenings, so arrive early to enjoy the sounds of a local musician. A marvelous moderator will introduce the film and tell you what special guest will be attending the Q+A. You won’t want to miss the Salem Sketches either; these mini-docs screen immediately before the feature documentary and reveal fascinating facets of Salem. This year, collect all six Salem Sketches!

Certainly plan to stay late. The moderated discussions following the documentaries are rich conversations that cannot happen anywhere else. SFF 2016 has 35 feature length documentaries and 30 shorts with nearly 2/3 of those screenings having a filmmaker or subject in attendance. And at the end of a day on Friday or Saturday, you can go to a party with fellow filmgoers, meet some filmmakers, and bask in the SFF glow. Examine the events at and plan your Fest experience.

Take it from me, the before and after moments of a Salem Film Fest film are just as faboo as the films themselves. You owe it to yourself to arrive early and stay late.