Hold onto your eyeballs! We’re in the final stages of selecting films for this year’s festival. Over 910 films were submitted for Cucalorus 13. That’s a lot of films – and a huge increase from previous years. Our savvy programming team deserves big kudos for feeding their dvd players throughout the summer in order to select out the spectacular films of Cucalorus 13. In addition to receiving a record number of entries, the festival also reworked the programming process by breaking programmers into teams to focus on particular genres and subject matter. We launched our diversity programming scheme with Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith (aka “The Night Nurse”) and Travis Corpening as our African American programmers, Irene Edwards as our Hispanic/Latino Programmer, and Stephanie Avery as our Asian programmer. Our diversity programmers have been instrumental in building our Spotlight Africa, World Film and Racial Rewind programs.

Twisting their brains to inventive new rhythms, UNCW professors Jim Kreul, Andre Silva and Shannon Silva served as our experimental film programmers. Watch out for their signature blocks when the schedule is announced in a couple of weeks. Rocking out to the short stuff, filmmakers (all Cucalorus alumni!) Ben Fancy, Kenneth Price and Meg Lansaw rounded out the shorts team.

Documentary features continue to dominate Cucalorus. Nobody could make this stuff up! Artist Dixon Stetler, Socialist Realtor Steve Fox, Jeff Sanchez, Working Films staffer Anna Lee, and Books-a-lot Gwenyfar previewed, scored and selected this year’s world-class selection of feature documentaries. Filmmaker Bo Webb, Actor Bill Ladd, Film Grad Travis Currin and filmmaker Dylan Patterson worked their way through an outstanding list of international and American indie films, coming up with the strongest narrative slate that the festival has ever presented. Cucalorus programming coordinator Joel R. Wells worked his way through the submissions watching and researching in all categories. And I have been watching films all night and all day in an effort to bring you the most thoughtful and entertaining Cucalorus ever.

The final list of selections is being massaged and polished in a secret vault and will be announced early next week. If you’re a filmmaker who submitted your work – we will notify you of the status of your film! And to all the submitting filmmakers, a HUGE thanks, by submitting your work you’ve already participated in an amazing process. Each film submitted to our festival is previewed and considered carefully. We’re filmmakers, so we know what it means to wrestle your soul and squeeze it through a lens, edit it down to unrecognizable bits and then send it out into the vacuum of festival land. Buried inside of the 700plus films that won’t make it into Cucalorus there is genius, humor, and wisdom. When we invent a mechanism to extend the hours in the day, we’ll show them all. But until then, join us at Cucalorus 13 – we’ll be screening over 200 films to make you think, laugh and cry.