SALEM FILMFEST March 29-April 4, 2019

March 29, 2019

An explosive invasion of green crabs is an ecological catastrophe in the making in four neighboring towns on the Massachusetts coast in RECIPE FOR DISASTER directed by Nubar Alexanian.  SFF program director Jeff Schmidt caught up with Alexanian ahead of the short film’s World Premiere as part of Shorts Block D at the National Park Service’s Salem Visitor Center on Sunday, March 31 at 10am.

Jeff Schmidt: You have been working as a documentary filmmaker for over 40 years, what are some of the past films you have worked on that have inspired you to carry on all of these years?

Nubar Alexanian: I’m very fond of the expression:  “It’s not what calls you. It’s what keeps you.” There is no shortage of compelling stories out there waiting & wanting to be told and some of them just grab hold of you and won’t let go. This is what happened with RECIPE FOR DISASTER.  It quickly became a film I had to make because it’s about a catastrophe in the making that is happening in my neighborhood. Also, my daughter and I have been working on a feature length documentary film since 2011 currently called SCARS OF SILENCE: Three Generations From Genocide, about the affects of the Armenian Genocide on our family. This certainly keeps me going…and often keeps me awake at night.

CALLING ALL CHEFS is one of my favorite short docs because it’s about the importance of the food we eat and the main character, chef Paolo Laboa, was a spectacular subject.  So, for me, inspiration has always come from connection to the subject.

JS: How did you come to learn of the Green Crab?

NA: I’ve lived in the marshes of Cape Ann for a long time as a photographer and avid striped bass fisherman.  So I know these marshes very well. However, in June of 2017 I heard about the explosion of the green crab population and was stunned that I had not heard about it before.  How could this be? How bad was it? Like many documentary filmmakers, producing a film is a way of educating myself about a subject and finishing the film is a way of sharing what I’ve learned.


RECIPE FOR DISASTER screens as part of Shorts Block D at the National Park Service’s Salem Visitor Center on Sunday, March 31 at 10am – FREE ADMISSION:


Very excited for Nubar and very much looking forward to attending the opening!

The screening will take place at the SALEM FILM FESTIVAL on Sunday, March 31st at 10:00am at the National Parks Service in Salem. The event is free and open to the public. There will be five short films followed by a Q&A. Total time for this event will be 67 minutes.