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It’s standing room only as Salem Film Festival opens

From left: Rick Beyer and director of photography Dillard Morrison greet John Jarvie, who was featured in Beyer’s film “The Ghost Army.”

Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

From left: Rick Beyer and director of photography Dillard Morrison greet John Jarvie, who was featured in Beyer’s film “The Ghost Army.”

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The Salem Film Festival kicked off Thursday with a sold-out screening of “The Ghost Army,” Lexington filmmaker Rick Beyer’s strange-but-true story of a top-secret World War II unit that created illusions and sound deceptions to fool the German Army. The festival, which runs through March 14, includes 32 films from 17 countries. Among the highlights is “West of Memphis,” a documentary by “Deliver Us From Evil” director Amy Berg, about the convictions of Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr., and Jason Baldwin, the so-called “West Memphis Three.”

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