Metro Boston’s largest all-documentary festival, the 10th annual Salem Film Fest, gets into full swing today with a full program of films of all shapes and sizes for your filmgoing pleasure.
One of the reasons we have been such fans of SFF is the amazing diversity of films that the fest is able to pull together. No matter what your interest, you will be able to find something to your liking here.
As always, screenings take place at CinemaSalem and the Morse Auditorium at Peabody Essex Museum, with select screenings at the National Park Service Visitors Center. Another cool thing about SFF – all three primary venues are a stones’ throw from each other – you can easily walk between the three venues in under five minutes, which is NOT the case for some other local festivals which schedule screenings at venues that are 20 or more minutes apart, so you get stuck in traffic, or get stuck on the T, and risk missing something. With SFF, it’s just NOT possible.
You’ll find a variety of topics on today’s documentaries to choose from. Descriptions of the films are below, and are taken directly from the SFF official website at http://salemfilmfest.com!
BALLAD OF FRED HERSCH
The foremost jazz pianist and composer, a genre unto himself, shares his poignant story as AIDS and coma survivor, revealing the unlikely but triumphant musical journey of a true American master.
THE DAY THE SUN FELL
In an effort to learn more about her deceased grandfather’s work as a Red Cross doctor on duty after the 1945 Hiroshima bombing, a Swiss-Japanese filmmaker interviews a surviving doctor and former nurses who shared the same experiences. By eerie coincidence, the Fukushima nuclear disaster strikes during the filming, and history seems to repeat itself.
THE HAPPY FILM
A successful graphic designer chronicles his efforts to redesign his personality through controlled experiments with meditation, therapy and drugs that don’t go as planned.
THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH
Is Mexican tabloid photographer Enrique Metinides, obsessed with hyper-violent crime scenes and accidents, a journalist, paparazzi or artist? A fascinating biography of a complex man.
MASS REALITY CHECK
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.
A sixty-something mattress salesman becomes a local celebrity as “Mattress Mick”, the tacky YouTube persona his friend creates in an attempt to breathe new life into his failing business
MAURIZIO CATTELAN: BE RIGHT BACK
This Italian puckish conceptual-art superstar is as elusive as he is provocative. Director Maura Axelrod’s playful profile of the ultimate prankster literally leaves its audience wondering: who is Maurizio Cattelan?
Bassem Youssef launches an Egyptian “The Daily Show” during the Arab Spring and endangers life and livelihood when the Morsi regime doesn’t appreciate his jokes. A film about free speech, censorship and “democracy”.
Controversial James E. Billie, alligator wrestler, Vietnam veteran, folk singer and half-white Seminole Indian chairman, created Indian gaming and an instant jackpot for his impoverished tribe.
Today’s Schedule looks like this:
The Man Who Saw Too Much 3:00 PM
Ballad of Fred Hersch 5:10 PM
The Happy Film 7:05 PM
Matress Men 9:20 PM
MORSE AUDITORIUM @ PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
The Day The Sun Fell 12:00 PM
Wrestling Alligators 2:30 PM
Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back 5:15 PM
Tickling Giants 8:00 PM
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE VISITORS CENTER
Mass Reality Check 3:00 PM
Tickets can be purchased at the Salem Film Fest website, or at CinemaSalem during regular business hours. Make sure you get your tickts early – it is not uncommon for many of the screenings, especially those held at CinemaSalem to be SOLD OUT. Don’t wait to get your tickets until the last minute – get them as soon as you can!
Don’t forget about the Friday Night After Party either! Tonight’s AfterParty is being held at Notch Brewery & Tap Room at 283 Derby Street. Chances are good you’ll find some of the filmmakers milling around, and the venue has been getting a great reputation as one of the best new places in Salem! Admission is free, and will take place from 9 PM-Midnight.
And things are JUST getting started, filmlovers! The weekend will be packed full of great films and more parties, and you will hav plenty to choose from – we’ll have the complete Saturday line-up rundown tomorrow morning! BE HERE!