March 8, 2022

Salem Film Fest Announces Festival Lineup

by Felicia Cheney

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Salem Film Fest (SFF) is pleased to announce the film lineup for the fifteenth edition of its documentary film festival, with most of the 47 features and shorts selected to screen for the first time in Massachusetts. The festival will take place in a hybrid format of in-person screenings in Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts Thursday, March 24 – Sunday, March 27 at The Peabody Essex Museum, Cinema Salem, The Cabot and the Manninen Center for the Arts at Endicott College – followed by virtual streaming available to viewers in the United States, Monday, March 28 – Sunday, April 3.

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“Documentaries offer a way for us to connect with the world, and the discussions that follow our film screenings are so important. Salem Film Fest is all about connection and engagement. While streaming the Fest online the past couple of years helped us connect with new audiences, we dearly missed the conversations and interaction that in-person screenings provide,” said Sadry Assouad, SFF Co-Festival Director.

Salem Film Fest kicks off Thursday, March 24 with the Massachusetts premiere of director Marq Evans’ CLAYDREAM, which chronicles the artistic legacy of Claymation pioneer Will Vinton and his court battle with Nike’s Phil Knight.

Other festival highlights include the New England premiere of EXPOSURE directed by Holly Morris, who won the Special Jury and Audience Awards at SFF 2016 and returns with a film spotlighting a group of women from the Western and Arab world who join forces on what might be the last surface expedition to the North Pole; The East Coast premiere of co-directors Sam French and Clementine Malpas’ WITH THIS BREATH I FLY, a timely examination of women’s rights and Afghanistan’s court system; and the Massachusetts premiere of director Aaron Hosé’s ONE PINT AT A TIME, which takes viewers inside the multi-billion dollar craft brewing industry and Black-owned breweries eager to shift the historical perception of who makes and drinks beer.

CLAYDREAM – sponsored by Montserrat College of ArtSalem Cycle, & Tri-City Sales

“Planning for a Hybrid in-person/virtual festival was a real logistical challenge, both in how our festival team was forced to work remotely from one another for the past year, but also in visualizing and thinking through how to present programming for those that are ready to return to the theater, as well as those that prefer to watch from home,” said Jeff Schmidt, SFF Program Director. “We believe that film festivals provide a unique forum for our community to discuss the world and our collective place in it. To that end, since the pandemic began, we felt as an arts organization that it was important to provide access to as many people as possible, so we’re happy to continue offering discounted ticket pricing to our audience.”

Salem Film Fest will present 27 feature films and 4 shorts blocks with filmmakers attending and participating in Q&As at most in-person screenings. The festival will offer events, parties, as well as live music over the 4 days of in-person programming. Free events include the Mass Reality Check, a shorts showcase for Massachusetts college students, and Keeping It Reel which highlights films by Massachusetts high school students.

During the in-person festival, five awards will be presented to filmmakers: The Special Jury Award and Michael Sullivan Award for Documentary Journalism each include a $1,000 cash prize, The American Cinematographer Magazine Award as judged by ACM’s Editor-in-Chief Stephen Pizzello, the inaugural Cultrera Cuts Edit Award honoring SFF Co-Founder and longtime Festival Director Joe Cultrera, and the Award for Best Short. The festival culminates on the last day of virtual programming with the Audience Award as determined by audience balloting throughout the in-person and virtual portions of the festival.

For more information on films, the festival schedule, and ticketing, please visit


Since 2007, Salem Film Fest (SFF) has brought the world’s best independent documentaries and their makers to Boston’s North Shore. Now the largest international documentary film festival in Massachusetts, the event annually presents features, shorts and special events to a loyal audience of thousands. The festival is mostly run  by volunteers through a non-profit entity, Salem Community Arts Center, Inc.

In an effort to keep our in-person festival a safe environment, we will follow current venue-specific public health protocols.

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