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10 Films You Need to See for Salem Film Fest ’22

The 15th edition of Salem Film Fest starts this weekend! Salem Film Fest 2022 will take place in-person Thursday, March 24 – Sunday, March 27, followed by virtual programming Monday, March 28 – Sunday, April 3 at Endicott College of Arts, CinemaSalem, The Peabody Essex Museum, and The Cabot.

Here are the ones we are making sure to see either in-person this weekend or via streaming next week! But, whether you go with our suggestions or not, there is a bit of something for everyone at Salem Film Fest. You can see the full catalogue of films and get tickets www.salemfilmfest.com

TIGRE GENTE – Fri, Mar 25th, 9:10 PM @ Cinema Salem

TIGRE GENTE unfolds like an international thriller as a Bolivian park ranger and young Hong Kongese journalist go undercover to investigate why jaguars are mysteriously disappearing from the Bolivian jungle. This tense, beautifully filmed detective story employs hidden cameras, sting operations, boat chases and police busts in a compelling character driven drama spanning mist-covered jungles in the Amazon rainforest to bustling wildlife markets in China. With remarkable access, TIGRE GENTE connects the dots on two continents between hunters, traffickers and consumers, while linking ancient traditions that simultaneously value the power of these wild cats while also threatening their very existence.


IMPERFECT – Sat, Mar 26th, 7:00 PM @ Endicott College

A theater troupe with all types of disabilities – from spinal cord injury to Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy to autism – attempts to stage an unprecedented version of Kander, Ebb, and Fosse’s beloved musical Chicago. Capturing the raw, honest stories of these talented actors both inside their production process and their everyday lives, the film reveals a rare behind-the-scenes look at artists pushing to succeed, no matter the obstacles. IMPERFECT crushes stale notions of disability and affirms the human condition – in all its many forms.


CAT DADDIES – Sun, Mar 27th, 11:00 AM @ The Cabot

Firefighter, schoolteacher, truck driver, tech worker, stuntman – cat daddies couldn’t be more different and neither could their relationships with their cuddly companions. In New York City, David Giovanni is living on the streets with his beloved cat Lucky when he receives a devastating medical diagnosis that puts their future together in doubt. David’s emotional journey intertwines with a variety of other “cat dads” from around the country – some who struggle with the unprecedented challenges of 2020, and one whose cat has become a viral sensation. CAT DADDIES is a refreshing and timely exploration of the unlikely bond between man and feline.


CLAYDREAM – Thu, Mar 24th, 7:30 PM @ Cinema Salem

A modern day Walt Disney, Will Vinton picked up a ball of clay and saw a world of potential. Known as the “Father of Claymation,” Vinton revolutionized the animation business during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s – along the way winning an Academy Award and pop culture recognition after creating a series of commercials featuring the California Raisins. But after 30 years laboring in relative obscurity as the unheralded king of clay, Will Vinton’s carefully sculpted American dream comes crumbling down at the hands of an outside investor… Nike’s Phil Knight.


PROSOPAGNOSIA (Short) – Fri, Mar 25th, 1:00 PM @ Cinema Salem

An animator explores his experience of Prosopagnosia (face blindness) through the contents of a memory box.


McCURRY: THE PURSUIT OF COLOR – Fri, Mar 25th, 5:00 PM @ Peabody Essex Museum

An intimate portrait of the contemporary photojournalist Steve McCurry, creator of some of the most iconic photographic images of the 20th century, including the piercing green-eyed Afghan Girl. The one thing more poignant than McCurry’s pictures is his tumultuous 40-year career, which he’s spent traveling the globe essentially alone, capturing candid snapshots depicting the complexity of human life. With unique access to the photographer’s creative process, exclusive interviews with family, friends and colleagues and a chance to view unpublished images, we discover how McCurry’s vulnerabilities set him on the path to greatness. We travel with him to witness his commitment to record what defines and unites us – a race against time in an increasingly fractured and culturally homogenous world.


THE ROOTS WEAVER – Online Streaming

A poetic observation of the indigenous Yaghan art of grass-weaving as developed in Chile.


RIVER – Sun, Mar 27th, 6:20 PM @ The Cabot

Throughout history, rivers have shaped our landscapes and our journeys; flowing through our cultures and dreams. Narrated by Willem Dafoe with a mesmerizing score performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and featuring additional music from William Barton, Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, RIVER is an environmental thrill ride that transports you on a journey through space and time. Spanning six continents, and drawing on extraordinary contemporary cinematography, we observe rivers on scales and from perspectives never seen before. Its union of image, music and sparse, poetic script create a film that is both dream-like and powerful, honoring the wildness of rivers but also recognizing their vulnerability.


SCENES FROM THE GLITTERING WORLD – Sun, Mar 27th, 11:00 AM @ Peabody Essex Museum

Three Indigenous youth come of age on the fringes of the Navajo Nation. SCENES FROM THE GLITTERING WORLD is a meditation on adolescence, trauma and the power of connecting with a homeland. Filmed at the most remote high school in the continental United States, at the farthest edge of the Navajo Nation, this film shares the stories of Indigenous youth as they grapple with ambitious dreams, their family responsibilities, and the isolated nature of their community.


MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE – Fri, Mar 25th, 5:00 PM @ Cinema Salem

Motherhood is a subject so deeply embedded in the fabric of our society that we take it for granted as part of the natural order. Society assumes all women want children, suggesting that it’s unimaginable a woman might make a conscious choice otherwise. MY SO-CALLED SELFISH LIFE is an entertaining, inspiring and thought-provoking look at a diverse group of women saying no to having children–and the forces that have stigmatized them. With the ongoing threats to reproductive services and with global media shouting conflicting warnings about both declining birth rates and unsustainable overpopulation, this film questions the cultural narratives that shape our identities, sparking a debate about who’s really in control of women’s bodies and lives.


About Salem Film Fest: 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. Learn more at www.salemfilmfest.com


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