Salem Film Fest 2020‘s virtual festival continues with week 2, bringing you a diversity of feature length and short documentaries from filmmakers all over the world.
Click here to view the full catalogue or click the film titles to be directed to the streaming page.
Here’s What’s Available from Salem Film Fest Week 2
Changing the Game
Mack Beggs made headlines when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling—as a boy. He was heralded as a hero by some while receiving threats from others. In April 2017 Andraya Yearwood began competing on her high school girls’ track team as a transgender female. Under Connecticut’s state policy Andraya is allowed to compete how she identifies. A debate about fairness ignites after she wins two state titles for the 100 and 200-meter dash. Sarah Rose Huckman competes on the girls’ cross country ski team, but her eligibility could be challenged. Her home state, New Hampshire, requires transgender students to have gender confirmation surgery to officially compete on the team with which they identify. In response, Sarah Rose campaigns for policy change.
Discover four trailblazing female architects who have been observing and designing urban environments over 70 years: Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown. The Seagram Building in New York, Old Montreal, and the concept of green roofs exist because of these exceptional women. In the course of their inspiring careers, they left an indelible mark on several cities across North America and Europe. They worked with the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and Robert Venturi to shape cities of today and tomorrow.
Imitating Life: The Audacity Of Suzanne Heintz
Suzanne Heintz, a ‘loud-mouthed’ girl from Yonkers, embarks on a strange and entertaining 15-year global photographic crusade to challenge persisting stereotypes about women’s roles and lives. With her provocative eye, sharp sense of humor, and feminist’s soul, she creates glamorous portraits of mid-20th century domestic bliss by placing herself at the center of scenes where she is the perfect wife and mother of a meticulously dressed mannequin family. When social media catapults interest in work, Heintz’s resilience is put to the test.
Once Upon A Time In Venezuela
Congo Mirador was once a magical, thriving fishing community, built on stilts near Latin American’s biggest oil field. But recently, Venezuela has spiraled into chaos and violence, and the village is sinking from pollution and neglect. At the center of the existential fight stands Mrs. Tamara, the Chavez-worshipping coordinator not above bribery and intimidation, and Natalie, her most vocal critic and school teacher. As confidence erodes under President Maduro, Venezuela is fast becoming the world’s worst refugee crisis in 2020. Can the village stay afloat or will it become a political and ecological casualty?
Our Time Machine
When 43-year-old Maleonn, one of China’s most influential conceptual artists, realizes his father, theatrical director Ma Ke, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, Maleonn races against time pouring everything into an ambitious new theater project. “Papa’s Time Machine” is a visually stunning time travel adventure told with life-size puppets. At the play’s heart are autobiographical scenes Maleonn hopes will bring father and son together artistically and personally. As Ma Ke’s condition deteriorates, Maleonn is torn between the original goal to honor his father and the pressure to achieve commercial success.
S. Leo Chiang directed MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON (SFF 2014) and co-produced LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (SFF 2015).
The Rabbi Goes West
Chaim Bruk, a charismatic 34-year-old Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi from Brooklyn, brings his evangelical strand of Judaism to Bozeman, Montana, with the mission to place a mezuzah (encased Jewish prayer offering) on the doorpost of every Montana Jew. As he travels across this “big sky” landscape, Chaim faces obstacles, including a terrifying neo-Nazi threat and objections from some skeptical Jews and the state’s Reform and Conservative rabbis. Will Chaim succeed in his Chabad expansion, and at what cost?
River City Drumbeat
Click here to watch the free Filmmaker Q&A.
RIVER CITY DRUMBEAT is a powerful story of music, love, and legacies set in the American South. Edward “Nardie” White devoted his life to leading the African-American drum corps he co-founded with Zambia Nkrumah in Louisville, Kentucky three decades ago. Together they inspired youth from their West Louisville neighborhood to thrive by connecting them with the art and cultural traditions of their African ancestors. Now Albert Shumake, whose destiny was shaped by the drumline, must take up the mantle for the next generation. Meanwhile, student drummers Imani, Jailen, and Emily navigate adolescence and life changes. RIVER CITY DRUMBEAT follows this creative community of mentors, parents, and youth making their way in a world where systemic forces raise obstacles to fulfilling their dreams.
If you would like to donate to the River City Drum Corp visit: https://rivercitydrumcorpky.org/donate/
Boniface “Softie” Mwangi is daring and audacious, and recognized as Kenya’s most provocative photojournalist. But as a father of three young children, these qualities create turmoil between him and his wife, Njeri, as his idealism and activism attract threats that put himself and his family at risk. When he wants to run for political office, he is forced to choose either country or family.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Stevenson: Lost And Found
A humorous writer and artist, James Stevenson, was one of The New Yorker’s most prolific cartoonists—and arguably the most beloved. This biopic unearths a dazzling volume of work and a whimsical yet incisive chronicle of its time, while facing the struggles of the artist and those who love him. A bittersweet romp through the stellar, 67-year career of a remarkable artist.
The Wind. A Documentary Thriller
Click here to watch the free Filmmaker Q&A.
The Halny wind cycles in every spring and autumn in the mountains of Poland—one never knows if or when it will turn into a destructive gale. When the wind arrives, people become more anxious and aggressive, drink significantly more alcohol, suffer adverse health conditions, and suicide rates reach their highest level. In the small community of Zakopane, residents are terrorized by the windstorm as it transforms picturesque mountain trails into a stage for a performance of human struggle against the destructive forces of nature.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!)
A motley team of laborers travels from the North of France each year to harvest grapes at a small Champagne vineyard run by an eccentric winemaker with a cult following. Many of them have been picking these grapes for a quarter century, but as the winemaker begins to hand over the family business to his son—and younger workers increasingly join the team—it is unclear if this harvest tradition can endure. An immersive portrait of two disparate French worlds entwined, the film weaves intimate vérité scenes through the whirlwind labor of the harvest. And the process of making the wine itself rests a purely visual experience, pleasurably just out of reach.
Available for Streaming Throughout the Month
Retrospective: Black in America (Friday, July 10 – Thursday, July 30)
Retrospective: Black in America is a selection of films that have screened at past editions of Salem Film Fest and have shed a light on the African-American struggle in the United States, including SFF 2012 Audience Award winner ALL ME: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF WINFRED REMBERT by Vivian Ducat and THE BLOOD IS AT THE DOORSTEP by Erik Ljung, which won the Michael Sullivan FRONTLINE Award for Documentary Journalism at SFF 2018.
All festival profits from ticket sales for films included in the retrospective will be donated to organizations and individuals dedicated to combating racism and creating opportunities for African-Americans in the arts.
Shorts Blocks (Friday, July 10 – Thursday, July 30)
20+ short films that you can rent in bundles of 5! Sample the world with these excellent selections.