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35 Documentaries Over Eight Days Explore Topics and Perspectives To Challenge Your Eyes and Mindset

While you can tour a lot of sites in historic Salem, Mass., here’s a sampling of sights and sounds from March 3-10 that you might otherwise never encounter.

–   See a social robot bring comfort to lonely elders afflicted with dementia.
–   Witness love and redemption in the world of trash recycling at a California town.
–   Follow a Paraguayan youth orchestra as they play instruments made entirely of garbage.
–   Experience the decade-long transformation of an abused child bride to becoming South India’s first female taxi driver.

Those descriptions are of but four among 35 impressive and astonishing documentaries taking to the screen at the2016 Salem Film Fest, which has grown to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading documentary film venues. Screenings take place March 3-10 this year at CinemaSalem and the Morse Auditorium of the Peabody Essex Museum.

The festival concentrates on well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches, letting narratives unfold that wind their way through the human experience in the USA and foreign lands. Many of the films to be screened represent a US, East Coast or regional premiere. Filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, giving audiences a unique advantage to learn about the documentary process.

Each film provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the encounters of others in a dramatic and sensory way, embarking upon what is different and recognizing what is common to us all. “The world is an amazing place,” is an oft-worn but timely phrase. The 2016 Salem Film Fest affirms that travel quote for your eyes and ears. 

A complete syllabus of films to be shown this year accompanied by short and detailed summaries is posted at salemfilmfest.com,where you will also find listings for filmmaker receptions and music events and buy tickets and passes.

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