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 documentary film festival in Massachusetts, the event annually presents features, shorts and special events to a loyal audience of thousands.

Salem Film Fest is a filmmaker-friendly festival and sees its makers as partners in the event. Submissions are by invitation-only and free of submissions fees. We are proud to offer screening fees to selected features filmmakers, while also providing some travel support and accommodations.

The festival is mostly run by volunteers through a non-profit entity, Salem Community Arts Center, Inc. and takes place at theater venues in Salem, including CinemaSalem, PEM, and the National Park Service Visitor Center.

While the fest is curated by invitation-only, nonfiction filmmakers may inquire about submissions by contacting us at For any other inquires, please reach out to

Special Jury Award
Audience Award
Michael Sullivan Award for Documentary Journalism
American Cinematographer Magazine Award for Cinematography
Cultrera Cuts Edit Award
Cartel Award for Best Short

THIS IS AN INVITATION-ONLY FESTIVAL! You may contact with information about your film ONLY if it fits the following criteria and you would like us to consider it. We will reply to unsolicited submissions ONLY if we would like to extend an official invitation to submit.

-Films with at least a Massachusetts premiere will be prioritized
-Films must not be broadcast until at least 3 months after the festival dates
-Films must not be available for either free streaming, purchase online (i.e. iTunes/Vimeo/Amazon/Netflix/Hulu, etc.), or VOD, until at least 2 months after the festival