10 Reasons to Check Out Salem Film Fest 2015
By Nicholas Papa
The 8th annual Salem Film Fest has begun! Here are 10 reasons why you should make your way to downtown Salem and check it out:
1. It is among ‘the best.’ Last fall, Boston Globe Magazine named Salem Film Fest one of the “35 Ways to Love a New England Winter” and North Shore Magazine readers deemed it “Best Spring Festival” the 2014 Best of the North Shore (BONS) campaign. With screenings at the North Shore’s beloved CinemaSalem and the world-class Peabody Essex Museum, the festival offers a respite from winter and the opportunity to experience some of the “best of” the region.
2. Making History. In its 8th year, the festival has grown to become one of the largest all-documentary festivals in the country, and continues to grow both in programming and audiences each year. Come to the festival and be part of history in the making!
3. Interact with the actual filmmakers. Salem Film Fest attracts filmmakers from all over the world that not only come to the festival to showcase their work but also stay for engaging and thought-provoking Q&As with their audience. In addition to film screenings, there are opportunities to mingle with filmmakers at local cafes, weekend “after” parties and the intimate filmmakers breakfast at Caffe Graziani.
4. Salem Sketches. These quirky, homegrown, short documentaries are produced by the festival’s filmmakers-in-residence and are love letters to everything that makes Salem, Salem. This year’s crop features five originals and five that were incubated in the “Salem Sketches Hot Tub Time Machine.”
5. Festive Windows. Sponsored by Salem Main Streets, many downtown shops have dressed up their windows in support of the festival. Using posters, film reels, popcorn, and other props, these spirited local merchants have created some intriguing designs. In between films wander around town to check out their window displays, and be sure to share your favorites with us on social media!
6. Downtown Salem. With one of the areas most vibrant and walkable downtowns, Salem is chock full of unique shops, museums and a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. So come for a film – or two – and stay for dinner!
7. Global Meatballs. Salem native Adeline Lutts Myers explores the world one meatball at a time in her new cookbook Global Meatballs. Salem is celebrating National Meatball Day with a pop-up foodie fest featuring some of Myers’ signature meatballs. This yummy food fest will run throughout the entire festival with the following restaurants participating: Bella Verona, Adriatic Restaurant and Bar, Cilantro, Firenze Trattoria, Finz Seafood and Grill, Hawthorne Hotel, and Opus.
8. Mass Reality Check. This awesome competition features films written, shot and directed by Massachusetts based college students and gives audiences a sneak peak at the early work of some of the next generation of filmmakers.
9. Camaraderie. Whether in the theatre, at the café between films or waiting in line, there is always someone new to meet and friends to be made.
10. The Films! With the largest line up in Salem Film Fest history, the featured documentaries have something for everyone: art and music; contemporary political and social issues; gender and sexuality; environment and conservation; social justice. These moving films provide you with the opportunity to see the world with fresh eyes and maybe even leave the festival as a changed person.