One of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals” in our backyard

Sarah Bode | Staff Writer

Moviemaker Magazine named the Wilmington-bred film festival, Cucalorus, one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals.”  The Cucalorus Film Festival is celebrating its 15th annual anniversary Nov. 11 to 15.  Films include dramatic features, documentary features and many shorts in all genres.

Some dramatic features include “In/Significant Others” directed by John Schwert, “Billy Was a Deaf Kid” directed by Rhett and Burke Lewis, “Bitch Slap” directed by Rick Jacobson, “Easier with Practice” directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, and “TiMER” directed by Jac Schaeffer.

Some documentary features include “Crude” by Joe Berlinger, “Playground” by Libby Spears, “God Went Surfing With the Devil” by Alexander Klein, and “FBI KKK” by Michael Frierson.

There are several shots which include “Horn Dog” by Bill Plympton, “Nar-Co-Lap-Sy” by Benedict R. Fancy, and “Notes” by Marc Russo.

Also screening this year is UNCW’s Terry Linehan, a film studies lecturer.  He is holding a reading of his nearly completed script, “Deep Dark Water.”  The script is part of the works-in-progress component of Cucalorus, which began last year.  Linehan’s reading will be held at the Screen Gems Studio Thursday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. 

Following in her father’s footsteps is Dylan Linehan who is debuting at Cucalorus 15.  Her documentary entitled “Roller Girls” explores the local port city afterhours activity of girls roller derby.  Dylan’s film will be screened in the “Cornish Pepper Shorts” which shows in Thalian Hall Thursday, Nov. 13 at 8:15 p.m.

This year the venue has expanded.  Films, shorts, workshops and other special events will be hosted in the familiar Jengo’s Playhouse, Thalian Hall, the Soapbox, the Dixie Grill and UNCW’s own Lumina Theater.  The Cameron Art Museum, City Stage, and one of Screen Gems Studios’ screening rooms has been added to the venue list.

Most of the films–both short and feature–have a Q&A session following the screening.  Cucalorus also offers a variety of technical workshops, the Blue Velvet Tour and special screening events for high school students and children. 

This year, Cucalorus will also be offering the “State of the State” event, which will be a discussion of the North Carolina filmmaking industry.  Members of the panel include: Senator Julia Boseman, Bill Vassar of Screen Gems Studios, Lou Buttino of UNCW’s film studies department, and Kelly Tenney of One Tree Hill.