It’s hard, at times, to be a film fan in Salem.
When it’s compared to that big city to the north, Salem’s film scene looks a bit paltry. Portland is renowned for its thriving independent film culture, which means plentiful arthouse and second-run theaters, as well as a film festival for every taste.
But let’s be fair — most places aren’t Portland. So let’s stop the comparisons.
Salem has its own film culture. Don’t believe me?
We have not one but two independently owned theaters in the city limits, and that’s not counting the delightful ones in Silverton, Stayton and Dallas.
Salem has a large but unrecognized group of talented filmmakers who are making low-budget, creative and daring movies and showing them to friends and family.
We have the Salem Film Festival and the Mid-Valley Video Festival, two very different festivals that each serve different purposes in our community.
Oh, yeah: Salem also has its own film review TV program. I happen to host that show, along with a man who lives and breathes films, Bryan Michael. Bryan is not only the biggest film buff I have ever met, he also is a proud native of Salem.
So the argument is over. I am not going to waste time in this column each month trying to prove that Salem is cool and has a thriving community full of film lovers. It’s there. It just needs to be nurtured a little, and perhaps cultivated to reach its true potential.
My job in this column is twofold: 1. I want to serve you, the readers. If you have a film- related question or want to drop an idea my way, please do so. I want and need feedback. 2. I plan to inform Salem Monthly readers on the exciting film-related news happening in this area and comment on strange or interesting trends in the film world.
Here’s to keeping our eyes on that flickering screen.
Angela Yeager is the co-host of Salem’s only movie review TV show, “Reel Film Snobs,” which airs weekly on CCTV. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org