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Salem Film Fest 2017

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  1. Filmmaker Spotlight: Daniel Cross, director of I AM THE BLUES

    Posted March 9th, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    Daniel Cross is a Canadian documentary filmmaker, producer, and social justice activist. He is the co-founder of the Montreal-based cinema production company EyeSteelFilm and is also the founder of Homeless Nation, a non-profit online-based organization that aims to build and strengthen homeless communities across Canada by spreading awareness on homelessness and helping homeless populations transition […]


  2. I AM THE BLUES: A Look into the Lives of the Last Blues Legends

    Posted March 9th, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    By Olga Nazarenko The pungent odor of boiling crawdads mixes in the air with the aroma of cigarette smoke. The hazy, blistering sun encourages drops of sweat to trickle down the back. Cold Bud Light soothes the aching thirst that accompanies an afternoon of raspy singing. The distant sound of croaking bullfrogs and crickets in […]


  3. Filmmaker Spotlight: Catching up with SFF Alum Jay Cheel

    Posted March 7th, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    Jay Cheels’ film BEAUTY DAY was shown at SFF 2013 and this year he returns to Salem Film Fest with HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE.  SFF program director Jeff Schmidt caught up with the Canadian based filmmaker to talk about his work as a documentary filmmaker. JS: How did you first get into filmmaking? […]


  4. Filmmaker Spotlight: Estephan Wagner LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP)

    Posted March 6th, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    In LES SAUTEURS (THOSE WHO JUMP), over one thousand African migrants live in a makeshift camp in the forest overlooking Melilla, from where they repeatedly try to jump the high-security border fences that separate Africa from Europe. When filmmakers hand a camera over to Malian emigrant, Abou Bakar Sidibé, and step away, the result is […]


  5. Fighting for Freedom of Speech: DATELINE-SAIGON

    Posted March 5th, 2017 by Kereth in Uncategorized

    By Olga Nazarenko “But I mean, they’re impossible, aren’t they?” asks John. F Kennedy inquisitively about the press reporting news from the war in Vietnam. “Terribly difficult. Halberstam and Sheehan are the ones that are just causing a lot of trouble. They’re allowing an idealistic philosophy to color all their writing,” Secretary of Defense Robert […]


  6. WRESTLING ALLIGATORS: More from director Andrew Shea

    Posted March 5th, 2017 by Kereth in Uncategorized

    Now that WRESTLING ALLIGATORS has screened, here is the rest of of my conversation with Andrew Shea, as promised. Here he discusses an upcoming project, a recent development in the Seminole tribe’s efforts to reach an agreement with the state of Florida, as well as the origin of the film’s excellent title. Enjoy! KCS: I noticed that you are […]


  7. American Cinematographer announces Cinematography Award

    Posted March 4th, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    Stephen Pizzello, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of American Cinematographer, has once again served as the jury for the American Cinematographer Award for Cinematography at Salem Film Fest.  Below is his statement regarding this year’s nominees and the winner. All of this year’s documentary contenders for Best Cinematography offer compelling visual interest and reflect excellent work by […]


  8. Filmmaker Spotlight: A Conversation with Sara Taksler

    Posted March 3rd, 2017 by Kereth in Uncategorized

    One of this year’s most topical films, TICKLING GIANTS follows Bassem Youssef, often dubbed the Egyptian Jon Stewart, as he transitions from surgeon to full-time political satirist during the tumultuous Arab Spring. The Daily Show inspired Youssef, whose work was at turns legitimately dangerous and revolutionary in a way that Jon Stewart’s work, protected by the First […]


  9. Filmmaker Spotlight: Catching up with SFF Alum Maite Alberdi

    Posted March 3rd, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    Maite Alberdi‘s film TEA TIME was shown at SFF 2015, this year she returns with THE GROWN-UPS.  SFF program director Jeff Schmidt caught up with the Chilean based filmmaker to talk about her work as a documentary filmmaker. JS: How did you first get into filmmaking? MA: In film school, it was very weird to […]


  10. Finding Peace with THE PEACEMAKER

    Posted March 3rd, 2017 by jeffschmidt in Uncategorized

    By Olga Nazarenko “Apostle-like immigrant” “martyr” “workaholic” Padraig O’Malley was called many things; however, one thing that everyone agreed upon was that he was a peacemaker. Patience, persistence, empathy, and occasionally using “the Irish card” aid the tall, bearded man from Dublin to do what he does best: negotiate. In the documentary film The Peacemaker, […]