Filmmaker Joe Cultrera spent 20 years in the documentary film world — “Frontline” aired his documentary “Hand of God” in 2007 — before he moved from New York back to his hometown of Salem six years ago. He says he knew dozens of skilled filmmakers eager to get their work in front of an audience. Although documentaries are a staple of festivals, in New England only Camden, Maine, had a festival devoted solely to that segment of filmmaking.
Cultrera decided to change that. He teamed with Paul Van Ness, owner of the independent theater CinemaSalem, and launched the all-documentary Salem Film Fest in 2008.