BOSTON SPRINGS A FETHIVAL: Salem Film Fest – Day Three

salemfilmfestlogoIt’s day three 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 four films today, and each is marked by an asterisk, so if you see us at one of these films, or you see us in-between films shooting video, 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!

CinemaSalem One
Entering its seventh year, the Five-Minute Student Doc Contest is an innovative and fun celebration of young Massachusetts High School student filmmakers. The doc genre is wide and varied and is open to all kinds of creative approaches. The Top Ten films will be screened on Saturday, March 7 at 10am, at CinemaSalem, and cash prizes of $100, $50, and $25 will be awarded to the top three films. The competition is limited to works that are less than five minutes in duration, and which have been produced in 2014 and 2015. The Five-Minute Student Doc Contest is sponsored by CinemaSalem and Salem Film Fest.

PEM Morse Auditorum
WANDER, WONDER, WILDERNESS is a multi-platform interactive documentary project that explores relationships between humans, community, and nature – highlighting the potential impact of urban wilds and green spaces as an antidote to our de-natured lives. It tells the story of urban revitalization and renewal in greater Boston through the creative expression of its participants. Companion components will include a mobile app that will allow users to generate their own responses to these urban wilds, with image, text, and sound, and an interactive website, that will showcase participant content. The project’s community engagement is built upon its extensive local and regional partnerships, social media outreach, and the development of location-based learning tools for high school and college students.

CinemaSalem One
A diverse group of South African actors tours the war-torn regions of Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia to share their country’s experiment with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must once again confront their homeland’s violent past, and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness. Featuring never-before-heard original music by jazz legend Hugh Masekela.

PEM Bartlett Gallery
Moderated by Jennifer Merin, EDA Award Jury Chair, Alliance of Women Film Journalists – NYC; Film critic at Women’s eNews; Cinema Citizen blog. Documentary filmmaking requires special storytelling savvy and boundless creative ingenuity. The filmmaker must untangle a massive web of facts and events and then use the bits and pieces and strands to knit a comprehensible, compelling and well structured yarn. To do this effectively, documentarians must utilize all their skills, especially those honed while working on previous projects — even non doc enterprises ranging from fiction features to commercials. Meet our panel of filmmakers who’ve succeeded admirably in doing just that, and hear what they have to say about their creative storytelling process. Scheduled to participate: Debra Granik (dir.) and Tory Stewart (editor, co-prod.) STRAY DOG; Marie-Lou Gingras (editor) and Steve London (prod., composer) ONCE UPON A CRIME: THE BORRELLI – DAVIS CONSPIRACY; Mark Shuman (dir.) MORPHINE: JOURNEY OF DREAMS; Jannie Langbroek, film consultant IDFA and Rotterdam (IFFR).  Free Admission.  Tickets will be available at the Salem Film Fest table at PEM 15 minutes in advance on a first-come, first-served basis.

12:15 pm THE OPTIMISTS (also at 4:15 PM & 8:15 PM)
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.

PEM Morse Auditorium
At first glance, the Kathputli Colony looks like any other Indian slum. Flies swarm its putrid canals, children climb on drooping electrical wires, and construction cranes and an ever-expanding Metro line loom on the horizon. But Kathputli is a place of endangered traditions. For half a century, 2,800 artist families have called its narrow alleyways home; there are jugglers and acrobats, puppeteers and painters, bards and poets, and most famously, jadugars, the street performers who preserve India’s ancient tradition of magic. In 2010, the New Delhi government sold Kathputli to developers for a fraction of its worth. The land is to be bulldozed to make room for the city’s first-ever skyscraper, The Raheja Phoenix. We follow three of Kathputli’s most-talented performers as they wrangle with the reality of their approaching eviction.

2:00 pm MUGSHOT*
PEM Bartlett Gallery (co-sponsored by eCinemaBoston and PNRNetworks)
Originally a law enforcement tool, the mug shot has deviated from its fundamental purpose as a source of criminal identification. Today, we’re now guilty of romanticizing mug shots: they fascinate us for very different reasons. Some may take pleasure in the base feeling of laughing at others’ misfortunes, some look upon them as cautionary emblems and reminders of how tenuous freedom can be, while others see them as a vehicle for writing an alternate history of the 20th century. MUGSHOT gathers a motley crew of writers, artists, and collectors whose lives have been transformed by the strange power of the mug shot. Once disregarded as photographic evidence of a crime, these little moments of history are now highly valued by many.

CinemaSalem One (co-sponsored by eCinemaBoston and PNR Networks)
WHO TOOK JOHNNY is an examination into the infamous thirty-year-old cold case behind the disappearance of Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch, the first missing child to appear on a milk carton. The film focuses on the heartbreaking story of Johnny’s mother, Noreen Gosch, and her relentless quest to find the truth about what happened that tragic September morning in Des Moines when Johnny never returned from his paper route. Along the way there have been mysterious sightings, strange clues, bizarre revelations, and a confrontation with a person who claims to have helped abduct Johnny. WHO TOOK JOHNNY captures the endless intrigue and conspiracy theories surrounding the eye-witness accounts, compelling evidence, and emotional discoveries which span three decades of the most spellbinding missing person’s case in U.S. history.

2:15 pm TOP SPIN (also at 6:30 PM)
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.

PEM Morse Auditorium
Go behind the scenes of TV’s longest-running, most-watched history series, and get to know the filmmakers, producers, and series staff that make history come alive.

PEM Bartlett Gallery
MISS HILL: MAKING DANCE MATTER tells the inspiring and largely-unknown story of Martha Hill, a woman whose life was defined by her love for dance, and who successfully fought against great odds to establish modern dance as a legitimate art form in America. In a career spanning most of the 20th century, Hill became a behind-the-scenes leader in the field and the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division. Through over 90 years of archival footage, lively interviews with friends and intimates, and rare footage of the spirited subject, the film explores Hills’s arduous path from a Bible Belt childhood in Ohio to the halls of academia at NYU and Bennington College, to a position of power and influence as Juilliard’s founding director of dance (1952-1985). Peppered with anecdotal material delivered by dance notables who knew her, this revelatory story depicts her struggles and successes, the film is a celebration of dance and an examination of the passion required to keep it alive.

4:30 pm ON HER OWN
CinemaSalem One
ON HER OWN tells the story of Nancy Prebilich and her family as they struggle to save their 5th-generation farm during the Great Recession. When both of Nancy’s parents suddenly pass away, Nancy, her sister, niece, and nephews fight to stay afloat in the face of loss and financial instability. ON HER OWN represents what is happening all across the U.S. as houses are foreclosed, families are forced to move for purely economic reasons, and small farms face ruthless competition from larger factory farms and land developers. Chronicling Nancy’s personal journey over a 5-year span, this extraordinary story explores the roles that history and ancestry play in our present-day lives, asking: what happens when the cost of preserving family heritage is the family itself?

PEM Morse Auditorium
Three artists, three tragedies. The usual story told in a very unusual way. Words inspire Alice Wingwall’s photographs, even though she happens to be blind; after Katie Dallam loses half her brain function in a boxing match, painting and sculpting become her only lifeline; advancing noise in his ears destroys Graham Sharpe’s musical aspirations, but he also runs the most successful independent music festival in Ireland. The film takes viewers on a journey into the lives of these artists through haunting images that avoid prosaic documentation. Talking is largely eschewed in favor of long meaningful shots trying to put form to indescribable, making for a rare film that is more an artwork in itself. The film asks serious questions about art, self-image, and the meaning of images and sound, but leaves it to the audience to work through the answers.

CinemaSalem One
Seven years ago, director Sheldon Wilson set out to tell a story involving crooked cops, a Mafia godfather, murder, a public poisoning, Elvis Presley, prison gang leaders, and the cocaine-addicted newspaper editor who printed it all. As it turns out, this was just the beginning. ONCE UPON A CRIME: THE BORRELLI – DAVIS CONSPIRACY follows the extraordinary story of two innocent men whose lives are torn apart solely because of their race. Mike Borrelli, an Italian-American NYPD detective, and his partner Bob Davis, one of the first African-American detectives in New York, are convicted of first-degree murder – but Borrelli and Davis are innocent. Law enforcement agents know it, too, but they are hell-bent to connect the murder to the Mafia. Incredibly, they give the real gunman immunity and place him into witness protection in exchange for his false testimony against the two officers. This incredibly moving story is a testament to their courage and a friendship that has spanned over 50 years.

PEM Morse Auditorium
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP is the 40-year love story between Filipino-American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan, who, in 1975, became one of the first same-sex couples to be legally married. After applying for a green card for Tony based on their marriage, the couple received a denial letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating, “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.” Outraged at the tone, tenor, and politics of this letter, and seeking to prevent Tony’s impending deportation, the couple sued the US government, filing the first federal lawsuit seeking equal treatment for a same-sex marriage in US history.

Finz Seafood And Grill, Pickering Wharf
Salem Film Fest hosts its annual Saturday night blast at Finz, sure to get you up and dancing in the confines of one of Salem’s most comfortably stylish restaurants. Or simply enjoy the awesome view of Salem Harbor at night. (9:00pm – 12 Midnight)

9:20 pm MATEO*
CinemaSalem One
Matthew Stoneman dreamed of pop stardom. Instead, he went to jail, learned Spanish, and emerged as “Mateo,” America’s first white mariachi singer. Mateo is on the brink of completing an album of original songs in Havana, but his estrangement from friends and family, his criminal past, and his love for Cuban women could derail him on his quest for fame.