It’s day two of the 8th annual Salem Film Fest, and eCinemaBoston will be on the ground at various venues, talking to people, passing out cards, taking video, and more! We are attending three films today, and each is marked by an asterisk, so if you see us at one of these films, by all means come say hi – we’d love to talk to you and we might even put you on camera!
Here’s today’s lineup – film descriptions are from the Salem Film Fest official site at http://salemfilmfest.com/2015!
3:00 pm MASS REALITY CHECK
PEM Morse Auditorum
The Mass Reality Check is a college doc shorts showcase for college and university students and recent graduates working in short documentary and experimental documentary film.
4:15 pm THE OPTIMISTS (also screens at 8:15)
CinemaSalem Screening Room
The Optimists are a volleyball team of women in Hamar, Norway, aged 66 to 98. They practice weekly, but have not played a match for 30 years. Now there is finally a match, but who is the other team? According to rumor, it’s a group of handsome Swedish gentlemen across the border
5:15 pm DAVIDS AND GOLIATH*
When reports first emerged from China in 2006 that state-run hospitals were killing prisoners of conscience to sell their organs, it seemed too horrible to believe. But as researchers around the world – including human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian member of parliament David Kilgour – began to uncover the mystery, the true picture became all too clear. Their evidence suggests that tens of thousands of innocent people have been killed on demand to supply an ongoing illegal organ transplant industry. The story of how these investigators pieced together the evidence and continue to fight against this industrial-scale crime against humanity is a riveting tale of both personal triumphs and unimaginable horror.
5:30 pm EVAPORATING BORDERS
PEM Morse Auditorium
An essay in five parts, EVAPORATING BORDERS offers a series of vignettes, poetically guided by filmmaker Iva Radivojevic’s curious eye and personal reflections. Through the people she encounters along the way, the film dissects the experience of asylum seekers in Cyprus: a PLO activist and exile from Iraq is denied asylum within 15 minutes; neo-Nazi fundamentalists roam the streets in an attack on Muslim migrants; activists and academics organize an anti-fascist rally and clash with the neo-Nazis; 195 migrants drown in the Mediterranean.
6:30 pm TOP SPIN
CinemaSalem Screening Room
And you thought you knew how to play ping pong? Watch and learn how the game is meant to be played as you follow the journey of these three teenagers in their quest to represent the US at the Olympics. Filled with excitement, athleticism, skill, and grace, this is definitely not the game you thought it was.
7:20 pm MORPHINE: JOURNEY OF DREAMS
The in-depth tale of ‘90s band Morphine, who blazed like a comet across the global music scene…until its untimely demise. The group’s members and associates tell their story intercut with passages from saxophonist Dana Colley’s vivid tour journals. Interwoven rare live performances display why their unique and mesmeric sound continues to resonate with music lovers today. (I was told yesterday when I picked up our tickets that this show is SOLD OUT; check with CinemaSalem box office to be sure if you want to attend)
7:30 pm 35 COWS AND A KALASHNIKOV*
PEM Morse Auditorium
35 COWS AND A KALASHNIKOV is a film about African pride. Directed by Oswald von Richthofen and produced by Roland Emmerich, two old film school friends. It is not a classical documentary about Africa. No boy soldiers. No hunger. No safaris. But rather a poetic tribute to the eternal beauty and sublime strength of the continent. An homage to the Surma tribe of Southern Ethiopia, the dandy movement of Brazzaville, and the voodoo wrestlers in Kinshasa. Archaic roots, colonial influence and Western phenomena, all exist in today’s Africa. The filmmakers show three unusual facets of the continent. The result pushes the boundaries of cinematic aesthetics. Bold images and daring editing create a captivating way of storytelling, of poetry. 35 COWS AND A KALASHNIKOV will illuminate your view of the Dark Continent.
9:30 pm FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER-PARTY AT GULU GULU CAFE
Gulu Gulu Cafe
After the first full day of the festival, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a timeless performance by Vapors of Morphine. Meet a filmmaker, quench your thirst, and drink in the fun festival atmosphere at one of Salem’s hot spots. Ticketholders for MORPHINE: JOURNEY OF DREAMS and SFF All-Access Passholders are invited on a “first come, first served” basis to enjoy an intimate performance by the Vapors of Morphine after the film screening. Bring your MORPHINE: JOURNEY OF DREAMS ticket stub or All-Access pass to Gulu-Gulu Cafe to admit one to the show – doors open at 9:30pm, space is limited. After 10:15pm free admission is available to the general public if space allows.
9:50 pm BORN TO FLY: ELIZABETH STREB VS. GRAVITY*
Elizabeth Streb and the STREB Extreme Action Company form a motley troupe of flyers and crashers. Propelled by Streb’s edict that “anything too safe is not action,” these daredevils challenge the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility. BORN TO FLY: ELIZABETH STREB VS. GRAVITY traces the evolution of Streb’s movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her performers from the ground to the sky. Revealing the passions behind the dancers’ bruises and broken noses, BORN TO FLY offers a breathtaking tale about the necessity of art, inspiring audiences hungry for a more tactile and fierce existence.