Salem Film Fest 2009 ~ February 26th – March 5th

From the Salem Film Fest Main Page:

As America enters a new era of enhanced engagement with the global community, the Salem Film Fest mounts its second festival of world cinema, presenting films that beautifully and intimately convey the human experience with all its inspiration, challenge, sadness, and joy.

The festival selection committee has chosen 22 films from all over the world. Fifteen of the filmmakers plan to attend the festival, which promises rich filmmaker discussions and after-party experiences.

“The films we chose for this year’s festival are as entertaining and thought provoking as last year, when audiences loved the lineup,” said Joe Cultrera, Salem-based award-winning filmmaker who headed up the selection committee. “It’s an eclectic mix – documenting the lives of heavy metal rockers, an oppressed artist, a caring doctor, circus performers, scientists and beauty queens. You can travel a good portion of the planet through these films – to Chile, Australia, the Amazon, the Ukraine, Antarctica, Cairo, China, New Orleans, Argentina, Tibet and more.

“They explore the human experience, what we do to the Earth and to one another. We’re extremely proud to bring the great work of these filmmakers to Salem and we are lucky that so many of them want to travel here to join us for discussions. It’s a great way to show off Salem to them and to bring the lives and stories they have documented to Salem.”


If you can spare a few minutes to check out the schedule, do it! If you can give yourself the gift of a few hours in Salem viewing one of the films, all the better. Here’s the schedule.

I just attended the VIP Reception for members of the Creative Economy of the North Shore. There was quite a crowd at the Salem Cinema Cafe including local acting teacher Debra Crosby and musician Mamoudo.

I also had a brush with greatness when I met the nice couple, Peter Noyes and Nanny Pope, who own the Hannah Glover, a boat used in many of the the films that have been made on Cape Ann… They were lovely and had actually met Leonardo DiCaprio, not to mention Martin Scorsese and others, during last year’s filming of Ashecliffe, based on Denise Lehane’s Shutter Island.  (In an effort to be transparent and authentic, I admit an admiration for Leo, his acting ability and his environmental stewardship activities ~ okay, he’s not bad on the eyes either!)

In all seriousness and based on just a passing understanding of the subject, I know that the growing film industry in Massachusetts owes props to author Lehane and local-born actor/director Ben Affleck, for starters. Based on the Salem Film Fest, I can see that Massachusetts has many folks who support the growth of the film industry in our state, rich with beauty and history. So much to say about how the film industry can give a boost to the local economy ~ yes, a post for another day.

Do check out the Salem Film Fest site, even if the event has ended, to see the amazing people and projects celebrated at this special event.


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