, Salem, MA

Local News

March 4, 2013

Film Fest keeps growing

'Frontline' movie to premiere; Echols story draws controversy


In response, the film festival issued a statement that read, in part: “The mere presentation of a film does not imply that all the programmers, staff, volunteers or sponsors have endorsed an opinion that is stated in any particular film. We have no agenda except to create intelligent thought and dialogue that may bring us all to a better understanding of the world at our doorstep, or on the other side of the planet.”

“West of Memphis” sold out in just days, prompting organizers to move it to a larger theater at CinemaSalem. As of Friday, limited tickets were available.

Another documentary getting a lot of attention is “The Ghost Army,” the story of a secret World War II unit that deceived the German army with inflatable tanks, trucks and other tricks.

The film’s Massachusetts director and several soldiers from the unit will be here.

The Salem screening, by the way, is the world premiere.

In all, more than 30 documentaries will be shown between March 7 through 14, most at CinemaSalem, which is hosting the festival.

For the first time, the festival has an official headquarters, a “pop-up” store at 188 Essex St., which is on the pedestrian mall and just around the corner from the movie theater.

There are several related festival events, including a Friday night party at Finz restaurant, where movie trailers will be shown, and a five-minute high school documentary contest.

Salem Film Fest has broad community support, with many businesses sponsoring films and local hotels and inns putting up festival guests, including a number of filmmakers.

“It feels like it has taken hold,” Cultrera said. “It feels to me like the community owns it.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at

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