BSAF 2018: Salem Film Fest, Day One

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! As we told you a couple weeks back, spring is the busiest season for film festivals in Metro Boston. But this year is especially crazy, because FIVE of the festivals are running all or part of their programming on the SAME WEEKEND! So you have a ton of choices to make.

So…lets get started kiddies! Boston Springs A Fethival 2018 is officially underway, and we’ll have info for all the various festivals and their schedules every day, so be sure to keep your browser turned to for all the latest info!

Three more festivals get underway today, so given the horrible weather in the Hub, it’s going to be craaaaazeeeeee!!

The wonderful all-documentary Salem Film Fest kicks off its 11th annual program with the Sundance award-winning film Minding The Gap, from first-time director Bing Liu. Here’s the synopsis from the official website:

First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons, discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.

The film was one of the favorites at January’s Sundance Film Festival, with critical praise all around. Director Liu, who is also a skateboarder, won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking. Liu is scheduled to be in attendance for a Q&A after the film

The screening starts at 8 PM at CinemaSalem, One East India Square, Salem. Tickets for opening night can be purchased through fest website at

Films showing at SFF always begin with a three or four minute short from the “Salem Sketches” series, celebrating the history of the city and its many inhabitants, many of whom own unique businesses that help to make Salem the wonderful tourist destination it has become. They are a delightful slice of life. Many screenings also feature musical performances between shows.

Also, don’t miss the kick off party for the fest – it’s happening from 5:30-7:30 at Salem’s Old Town Hall, where you can check out North Shore filmmaker Elayne Cronin’s (KASHEER SFF 2014) new exhibit and three screen video installation “Tasmania, the US-Mexico Border, and Massachusetts: Global Connections to the Local Overdose Crisis” will be on display and open for viewing. FRONTLINE also returns this year with “Greenland Melting,” a Virtual Reality Film.

This is also the first year that the fest is expanding beyond its usual screening homes at CinemaSalem, the Morse Auditorium at Peabody Essex Museum, and the Salem Visitors Center; several screenings are now being offered at Beverly’s historic Cabot Performance Arts Center, which is now also owned by the owners of CinemaSalem, and also at Rose Performance Hall at Endicott College, also in Beverly, Both are just a quick 5-10 minute drive up the road!

For complete information on the festival and it’s upcoming offerings, be sure to visit the official website at! We have attended this wonderful festival every year since 2012 except for last year, and we have NEVER been disappointed. You will find that SFF is truly a unique experience and is a great fest to cut your festival teeth on if you’ve never been to one before.

One other thing – if you drive and park in the Museum Place Garage, where the cinema is located, and are attending a late screening, you will not be able to access the garage through the mall after it closes. You will need to go out CinemaSalem’s street entrance, turn right and walk 1/2 block to the garage exit, then walk to your vehicle from there. It’s a bit of pain, but not that difficult.

SFF continues through Thursday, March 29, so be sure to stay informed by keeping your browser on eCinemaBoston for complete schedule and ticket info! And don’t forget, Salem Film Fest will be part of our sister podcast Subject:CINEMA‘s massive BSAF coverage througout the month of May, and also in our huge BSAF SuperGuide PDF online magazine, also coming in mid=May!