, Salem, MA

October 28, 2013

Movie premiere -- horrors! -- happening in Salem


---- — BEVERLY — It might be Thomas Chalifour’s first movie, but you’ve got to give him credit for his marketing know-how.

The Beverly native is director of photography on a new horror/comedy short film called “The Creed.” And where do you think is the best place for the world premiere of a horror movie?

Where else but Salem during Halloween week? “The Creed” will headline a night of local independent movies tonight at Cinema Salem, starting at 8:30.

The short film (22 minutes) is a new venture for Chalifour, who lives in Brooklyn. For the last five years, he has worked as a camera operator on TV reality shows and documentaries, including HGTV’s “What Not To Wear” and “Cousins Undercover.”

“I always kind of thought I would get into feature films,” he said. “It’s nice to flex my creative muscles again. Hopefully, I’ll get to do more short films and features.”

Chalifour teamed up on the movie with fellow Fitchburg State graduate Kevin James, who is the writer and director. They raised about $4,000 through the crowdfunding site indiegogo and shot the film in Fitchburg and other Massachusetts locations.

When it came time to look for a place to show the movie, Chalifour contacted Paul Van Ness at Cinema Salem, where Chalifour worked as assistant manager during the summer when he was in college.

“He owns a production company (Van Ness Productions in Beverly), and he got me a lot of work and taught me a lot of things,” Chalifour said. “He’s a great guy.”

The movie is about a young woman who accidentally wins a pair of tickets for a Creed concert and realizes she can’t destroy them without them coming back to haunt her. Cinema Salem describes it as “a horror comedy that confronts horrible adolescent preteen tastes long thought buried away.”

Sounds pretty scary/funny.

Climbing the ladder

The city welcomed a new firefighter and celebrated the promotion of two others last week at City Hall.

The new guy is Michael Contilli, who is moving over from the Gloucester Fire Department. Contilli is a U.S. Army veteran who served tours in Jordan and Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division.

The promotions went to Brian Latulippe and A.J. Petronzio, who are now lieutenants. Latulippe comes from a firefighter family — his grandfather and father were longtime members of the Salem Fire Department.

Petronzio is a Marine veteran who served two tours in Iraq. He’s also the son of a retired Danvers firefighter.

Here’s the beef

Beverly’s Greg Thomas is one proud grandson.

Thomas’ grandfather, the late Dr. Elmer Woelffer of Wisconsin, was recently inducted into the Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame in De Soto, Kan.

Woelffer was considered “the father of bovine reproductive programs,” according to a press release from Merck Animal Health, a Hall of Fame sponsor.

Thomas was one of 18 family members who attended the ceremony in honor of his grandfather, whom they all called “Daddy Doc.”

“He lived a very rich and full life, advanced the field of veterinary medicine and, even in his 80s and 90s, inspired a boy who, now a man with his own family, hopes to pass on a bit of his legacy,” Thomas said at the awards ceremony.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or