An Interview with Jackie Olive, Cucalorus resident artist

Our summer residency program is coming to a close, but resident artist Jacqueline Olive hasn’t stopped working. She’s on the final production push of her film, “Always in Season,” which screened as a work-in-progress at Cucalorus 20, and is continuing efforts on the film’s Indiegogo campaign! “Always in Season” is Olive’s latest documentary feature that explores the lingering impact left by almost a century of African American lynchings in the United States. The film investigates the effects of racial terrorism across multiple communities, introducing the viewer to the perpetrators, spectators, and victims of lynching as they try to grapple with how to acknowledge and reconcile these horrific crimes that are still happening today. As a heated national discourse intensifies, “Always in Season” continues and informs the conversation, probing the complexity and pervasiveness of race and racial terrorism in the U.S. (View the trailer here!)

We were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Jackie to discuss her goals for the project, her time in Wilmington, and what exactly a Jackie Olive-inspired 21st birthday bash would look like.

AlwaysinSeasonQ: Explain your path to Cucalorus. What specific opportunities did you see in the artist-in residence program?

A: I ended up applying to the Works-in-Progress program last year and I got accepted. It was such a great opportunity to screen my film shortly after I finished a 25-minute cut at exactly the time when I needed feedback. For those who’ve never been to Cucalorus, it is such a fun, wacky, and warm environment. People come from all over the world to attend. That festival environment plus the opportunity to participate with colleagues, some of whom also had films about the need for racial justice and reconciliation, was so valuable. The best part was that I got to screen “Always in Season” at a variety of venues in Wilmington, from a local high school to Jengo’s Playhouse. The screenings were facilitated by amazing Alternate ROOTS staff, so when someone mentioned the artist in residency at the festival, I made a mental note to apply.

I was thrilled to be here for this summer, and I’m working on finishing filming, piloting my community engagement campaign, and creating a rough cut by late August. Very specifically, I am filming about an hour away in Bladenboro, NC, with the family of Lennon Lacy, an African American teen, 17, who was found hanging from a swing set last year on August 29, 2014. So the residency meant that I was able to resume filming with Lennon’s family, and I’m ideally located to do that.

Q: What have been some personal highlights of your career?

A: There have been many things I’ve been excited about. For instance, when I completed my graduate thesis film called, Black to our Roots, which is an hour long documentary that follows the journey of a group of African-American teens from Atlanta as they travel to Ghana in search of their connection to Africa, it was such a personal thrill to see the people that I had been filming with, portraying them in ways you don’t often see in mainstream media, sprawled larger than life on a theater screen. Another highlight was when that film was broadcast on PBS WORLD shortly afterwards.

One thing that is particularly meaningful to me is having interned with Academy Award-nominated director and Firelight Media founder, Stanley Nelson. I reached out to him in 2007 immediately after getting a masters degree in documentary film because I wanted to intern with the best director in the field, and he graciously took me on. It was a tremendously valuable learning experience.

It is hard to narrow down the high points of my career because every aspect of filmmaking is such a thrill for me. I feel honored every time someone I am filming with opens up their lives and invites me in.

Q: Your film, “Always in Season,” screened at Cucalorus 20 as a work-in-progress. What changes has the film gone through since then, and how has it developed?

A:  We went from a 25-minute cut to currently a version that is 40 minutes thanks to one of the editors on the project, Rodrigo Dorfman. Rodrigo is an outstanding editor, and I’ve never worked with someone who edits well so quickly. After filming in Bladenboro, we quickly cut the footage into the work-in-progress and reworked some of the older footage.  The Bladenboro piece is new and gives the film more emotional intensity and immediacy. The tragic story line about Lennon Lacy’s hanging helps to concretely show how the racial terrorism of the past is connected to widespread racial violence in the present.

Shaune Walters, left to right, Shawn Elliott Richardson and Cassandra Ottley link arms as they listen to NAACP North Carolina chapter president William Barber speak at the end of a march to honor the memory of Lennon Lacy and to bring awareness to the case, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Bladenboro, N.C. Lacy was found hanging from a wooden swing set in a mobile home park near his Bladenboro home in August.

Shaune Walters, left to right, Shawn Elliott Richardson and Cassandra Ottley link arms as they listen to NAACP North Carolina chapter president William Barber speak at the end of a march to honor the memory of Lennon Lacy and to bring awareness to the case, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Bladenboro, N.C. Lacy was found hanging from a wooden swing set in a mobile home park near his Bladenboro home in August.

Q: On your Indiegogo page, you mentioned that the film will help “inform the national debate about racial justice.” What new information or specific angle do you expect it to bring to the conversation?

A: First, the history of lynching is not new, but I rarely come across people who fully understand the scope of the terrorism. So there are a lot of lessons from just understanding the facts of the history, like that there were more than 5,000 lynchings for over a century and an overwhelming number of the victims were African American. In fact, scholars agree that the number of victims was probably 2 to 3 times as many, largely because we only know about the cases that were documented.  Before 1880 most lynching victims were white, but from that point forward, blacks were lynched far more frequently and with unparalleled brutality. Lynchings could last for hours, with the victims tortured and mutilated before finally being killed. There was a period in which it was relatively common for spectators to come out to watch. That’s white men, women, and children who attended lynchings like they were any other event. In Waco, Texas, 15,000 people came out in 1916 to watch that lynching.

When there is organized cover up and tacit denial, then we lose the lessons as a country that can help us understand the social climate that led to this widespread form of terrorism and miss the opportunity to explore how that climate, and the institutions that thrived because of it, are impacting us all today. Once you understand the history, there is no denying that when Lennon Lacy’s body is found hanging in Bladenboro with someone else’s shoes on his feet and his family insists that he wasn’t suicidal, then there’s good reason for the local authorities who investigated his death to at least consider the possibility that Lennon, who was also dating a 32 year old white woman, may have been lynched.

What “Always In Season” can bring to the conversation is showing the importance of confronting this history so that we fully understand the impact of this level of brutality on all of us, and reminding us that we have a collective stake in finding solutions that lead to justice and reconciliation.  The main characters in the film can be seen doing just that.

Q: Would you consider “Always in Season” a call-to-action film? What ways would you propose getting involved?

A: Yes. I’d like the film to move people to begin having dialogues in their communities about the historical violence of lynching and what they can do to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage and reconcile, and then begin to address issues of racial injustice going on right now, right where they live. Our plans are to engage communities with film screenings and dialogues that open conversations and identify resources for beginning the work that needs to be done for justice and reconciliation, using examples of strategies created in the communities featured in the film as potential paths to solutions.  The idea is not to inspire talk without action, but to model the conversations that need to be had across race and intraracially, and likely multiple times, so that people in communities can collectively decide what actions are specifically meaningful for them and then move to address historic and current racial violence.

AlwaysInSeasonQ: In your film, you chose to interview family members of victims and perpetrators of racial injustice, putting a human face on the issue rather than talking in abstract schemas.  Can you explain the importance of that decision?

A: The film not only humanizes the victims, but it also intimately explores who the perpetrators and spectators were. I either do that through the stories of those still living, like Olivia Taylor, who is one of the lynching reenactors in the film and actually witnessed a lynching at the age of three, or by featuring their relatives. I initially started out with a much more essay driven narrative, but I quickly realized that I wanted viewers to connect to the personal stories of those in the film so that the audience can understand every perspective of those involved in lynching—the victims, the lynchers, the spectators, and their relatives.

The subject matter is difficult and it can get intense. I wanted to remove the psychological barriers that we often put up to distance ourselves from facing issues of race and injustice. It has been important for me to do that in a way that prompts the viewer to see themselves in the story, and I’m always consciously thinking about how to draw the audience in even more. Because lynchings happened across the country in every state but four, and at its height the violence occurred several times a week and involved tens of thousands of people, the impact on all of us, even when we’re unaware, is pervasive.  I ideally want the audience to consider how their personal stories and their family narratives intersect with this history.

Q: Getting back to your time here in Wilmington, any highlights or favorite anecdotes from your residency so far you’d like to share?

A: It’s just been great seeing so many people show up to support me and the project, starting with everyone at Cucalorus and the welcome party they organized just a few days after I arrived.  Such a warm reception allowed me to connect with many people in the community that I’d met in 2014 at the festival.  I’ve run into people who were in the audience at last year’s screenings of the work-in-progress of “Always in Season”, so it was wonderful to reconnect. Over just a couple months I’ve met so many others who’ve reached out to offer support for the project.

On another note, my son and I drove here together from Florida, so we got in a great road trip only a couple of weeks after Teo got his driver’s license.  It’s great that he got to see Wilmington before heading home for the summer, and we had fun hanging out downtown and exploring the community together.

Q:  And finally, what’s the perfect Jackie Olive inspired recipe for a 21st birthday bash?

A: Well, one of the many fun things about attending the Cucalorus festival last year was all things moonshine. I love Sangria, particularly white sangria, and I recommend just adding moonshine.  We had this great spiced batch at the welcome party for the newest artist in residence, Jen Ray. My recipe calls for mixing white wine, ginger ale, peaches, white grapes, and orange slices to taste.  Then, to make it right for a Cucalorus twenty-first birthday bash, definitely add moonshine.

We’re excited to see the final product and enduring effects of Olive and her team’s hard work next year. In the meantime, you can stay updated on their efforts by liking and following “Always in Season” on Facebook, or by visiting the film’s website.

Learn more about the project and donate here!

Pop-Up Cinema: ROOTS Week 2015

ROOTS Week 2015 / August 4-9, 2015 / Arden, NC

Pop-Up Cinema is traveling west. We’ve loaded up our rental car with all the projectors, speakers, power cables, lenses, and glitter it can hold and we’re heading to ROOTS Week 2015! Catch these screenings throughout the retreat.


Wednesday / 1pm to 2pm / Peace Room // Environment and Economy

Camille Schaffer / 1980’s TV News stories / 12:00

Jordan Flaherty / Occupy Wall Street: History of an Occupation / 25:00
A look at how Occupy Wall Street went from a small group of New York protesters to a broad people’s movement in the US. Filmed for Al Jazeera.

Thursday / 1pm to 2pm / Peace Room // Cultural Equity #blacklivesmatter
Cucalorus 2015 Works-in-Progress Samples

Jackie Olive / Black to our ROOTS / 4:11
A journey film that follows a group of African American teens as they travel from Atlanta, GA, to Ghana in search of their connection to Africa.

Jason Foster / Post Racial America: A Children’s Story / 4:39

Written and performed by poet A Scribe Called Quess?, this film implores the viewers to have an honest conversation about race in this newly dubbed “post-racial society”.

Jason Foster / Greater than the Sum / 6:33
The words of Rethinkers (Jamia and Rashad) and the visuals of the non-tourist New Orleans give us a glimpse into what it’s like being a black youth in today’s society.

Friday / 1pm to 2pm / Peace Room // Immigration, Migration

Jordan Flaherty / A Conversation in Gaza with Haidar Eid / 8:00
A conversation about liberation with Dr. Haidar Eid, a professor of post-colonial and post-modern literature at Al Aqsa University, in Gaza, who is one of the intellectual leaders of the global movement for Palestinian liberation.

Rodrigo Doorman / Nuevolution: Latinos and the New South, 15:00

Saturday / 2pm to 5pm / Peace Room

Jordan Flaherty / People vs Coal in Colombia / 7:00
In rural Colombia, Angelika Ortiz and Yasmin Romero Hipeayiu, two women from La Guajira region are organizing within their Wayuu indigenous communities to combat the largest open-pit coal mine in the world co-owned by three of the world’s biggest multinational corporations.

Bailey Barash, A Conversation with Camille Baumgartner, 10:00 excerpt
A woman who came of age in the 60’s tells what it was like to be a Playboy bunny in the early days, and why that experience and all the challenges she faced after have lead her to decline treatment for her final challenge – lung cancer.

Bailey Barash, A Conversation with Lanny Harvey and Hector Pujol, 10:00 excerpt
Two men, partners for over 35 years, remain together even though one has been suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease for half their relationship.

Patton White / The Paper Project: Scenes 1-4 / 17:26
A new movement-theater piece that combines elements of dance, puppetry, original music, video projection and myth to  examine the multiple ways that paper has been used, and continues to be used, to wield power and control.

Open Screen / Contact Dan / Who? Knows!

Apply to be a part of Cucalorus 10×10

Calling all bold, spicy, and adventurous entrepreneurs and new businesses! Cucalorus welcomes you to submit an application to participate in the 10×10 project. Part of the 21st annual Cucalorus Film Festival, this program pairs ten entrepreneurs with ten filmmakers and challenges them to make a film together in less than a week. The project is made possible through a partnership between Cucalorus, CastleBranch Inc.’s tekMountain innovation incubator, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Program organizers see 10×10 as an opportunity to introduce young creatives to emerging businesses and to showcase the growing community of entrepreneurs working in the Cape Fear Region.

Norwood Cheek originally brought 10×10 to Cucalorus 17 as part of the festival’s retrospective on his work. Bands and filmmakers joined together to create music videos during the week of the festival while Cheek created a mini-documentary on the music scene in Wilmington. All videos were screened for audiences on the last day of the festival, followed by a Q&A with the artists. 10×10 was resurrected and restructured with this new entrepreneurial spin for last year’s 20th anniversary Cucalorus Film Festival.  Collaborations included the Greensboro-based living museum Elsewhere, whimsical retail store Edge of Urge, and our friends at the North Carolina Black Film Festival. (Watch the full lineup of 2014 10×10 vids on our YouTube channel.)

Norwood Cheek, music video extraordinaire and visionary behind Cucalorus 10x10.

Norwood Cheek, music video extraordinaire and visionary behind Cucalorus 10×10.

“We had a great response last year, so we knew that this was an area for continued exploration and experimentation,” said Cucalorus artistic director Dan Brawley. 10×10 participants will experience a unique, highly interactive side of Cucalorus; in addition to creating their film during the November festival, filmmaker and entrepreneur duos will attend a host of events that week, including the 10×10 kickoff party at tekMountain and a screening of their completed projects on the last day of the fest.

Interested entrepreneurs should apply here to be a part of 10×10. Spots are open to businesses of all industries, personalities, locations, and shoe sizes. Applications are due by 11:43pm on June 10, 2015.

Participants of the 10x10 program 2014 gather onstage to look pretty and answer some audience questions.

Participants of the 2014 10×10 program gather onstage to discuss their experience.

Pop-Up Cinema brings movies to you!

Keep an eye out for random acts of film in your neighborhood parks, parking lots, and backyards! Cucalorus has recently acquired an impressive set of mobile projection equipment and is using it to bring free outdoor movie nights to coastal North Carolina, one sunset screening at a time. The new Cucalorus Pop-Up Cinema program kicks off its 2015 summer screening series with a free showing of Yakona on the Tidal Creek Food Cooperative lawn, Saturday, April 25th, 2015 at 7:00pm. Celebrate Earth Day with this visually stunning documentary about the San Marcos River in Texas. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and friends!


Pop-Up Cinema grew out of an initiative to provide free outdoor screenings at last year’s Surfalorus and Cucalorus film festivals. After purchasing the equipment last fall, Cucalorus has held multiple outdoor screenings including a showing of Spanish comic adaptation favorite Zip & Zap and The Marble Gang at Wilmington’s Festival Latino, the classic Flash Gordon as part of the Cucalorus 20 Dino De Laurentiis retrospective, and a collection of partygoers’ off-the-cuff rock-themed shorts made at the Cucalorus Rökgärtën Party in April. Cucalorus will continue its Pop-Up Cinema screening series with numerous events throughout Wilmington and the surrounding area, including the 4th annual Surfalorus Film Festival in the Outer Banks, NC in October 2015.

Want to impress your kid? Blow this up in your backyard.

Want to impress your kid? Blow this up in your backyard.

Itching to hold an screening of your own? Call Cucalorus! Our trained staff can set up private screenings at Jengo’s Playhouse inside our 47-seat microcinema, outdoors in Jengo’s Backyard, or anywhere your imagination takes you with our Pop-Up Cinema equipment! We will even help curate a selection of vids for your kid’s birthday celebration, friend’s bachelorette party, or pet lizard’s wedding anniversary. Call 910-343-5995 or email for more info.

Cucalorus presents…THE RÖKGÄRTËN PARTY

It’s getting warm, and we’re getting antsy to engage in the kind of low-key, highly fermented bacchanalia that only Jengo’s Backyard can provide. So we bring you…


Saturday, April 11th

Gates open at 2pm

Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess Street)

Check our Facebook event for updates and to pledge your allegiance to the party.



Ditch the azaleas and get down at this feel-good grunge fest featuring…

  • Home tours:: see the Pink House, Yolohaus, and Cottage like never before with tours led by DannyBoy himself. Enjoy each property’s personality in the form of surprising solids and luscious liquids.
  • Pet rock adoption and decorating. We’ve got lots of rocks – and paint, googly eyes, glitter, and other accouterments to cutesify (or de-cutesify) those rocks.
  • THE ROCK BLOCK (Rock-themed film festival):: make a short film and we’ll show it on the big screen for all your friends to see. Only rules are the films must be “rock” related and less than twenty seconds. This can be a pre-party or during-party production.
  • Sweet tunes from local band FREE CLINIC!
  • Badminton, cornhole, etc. for your yard game pleasure
  • Dwayne Johnson activities
  • Off-the-hook parking across from Jengo’s
  • …and MORE!



Party like Dwayne Johnson and give spring the Rock Bottom at Rökgärtën. See you there!

He’s waiting for you…

Cuc’ alum Zach Clark curates Cucalorus’ “Bus to Lumberton”

Heineken? Fuck that shit! It’s Pabst Blue Ribbon time.
Frank Booth here. You wanna go for a ride?
I hear there’s some suave motherfucker in town making an installation inspired by “Blue Velvet,”
and if you don’t go, you fucking fuck, you may never go to pussy heaven.
A ride, you say? Now that’s a good idea.
Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) and Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) in "Blue Velvet."

Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) and Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini) in “Blue Velvet.”

Cuc’ Alum Zach Clark (“White Reindeer,” “Vacation!”) will curate the 20th annual Cucalorus Film Festival’s “Bus to Lumberton” installation, an immersive experience that will take audience members into the beautifully grotesque world of locally filmed “Blue Velvet.”

The films of David Lynch often bridge the gap between a sense of childlike nostalgia and nightmarish paranoia, and you can expect this theme to run through the installation, though Clark refuses to reveal too much before-hand. Like in a David Lynch film, the dirty deets aren’t quite so obvious to the untrained eye; you’ll have scratch beneath the surface before the seedy underworld of suburbia will reveal itself. (There may be some hidden hints in this blog… who? knows!)

One twist we can reveal is that the experience will be an individual one, letting audience members into the space one by one. Clark says that this will foster a more personalized, immersive experience for the participant and will allow everyone to take it on their own terms.

Jeffrey Beaumont (played by Kyle MacLachlan) finds a severed human ear in "Blue Velvet."

Jeffrey Beaumont (played by Kyle MacLachlan) finds a severed human ear in “Blue Velvet.”

“I’m seeing something that was always hidden. I’m involved in a mystery. I’m in the middle of a mystery. And it’s all secret.” -Jeffrey Beaumont, “Blue Velvet.”

What’s behind the red curtain? Get your peek at 9 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Murchison building. No ticket required.


Local project “NC Sixty” features local actors, crew

NC Sixty screened Friday afternoon at Thalian Hall, and reminded audiences what film festivals are all about: tech problems. (We’re kidding. Sort of.) After filmmaker and Cucalorus sweetheart Erica Dunton delivered a moving speech about her history with Cucalorus, the film began in a beautiful, sweeping dolly shot of a woman singing in a church – only audiences couldn’t hear the woman. There was no sound.

“Tanya,” Erica said, her voice carrying through the theater. “Would you like to come up here and sing?”

A woman named Tanya, the same woman audiences had just seen moments ago on screen, dressed in a sparkly black dress, hesitantly made her way toward the stage.

Emcee Matt Malloy handed her the microphone, and wow, did Tanya sing.

Her powerful voice was only interrupted when she would forget the occasional lyric, and Dunton would chime in to help her out. This is when audiences got to experience the beauty of a local film festival  – the spontaneity, the community, and the authenticity of personal interactions with filmmakers and actors that we think big cinema just can’t offer.

The tech issues quickly resolved themselves, but the opening song couldn’t have gone better if it had been planned. It was a perfect introduction to this very special project that features 60 local actors (many at the start of their careers) and even more local crew.

Local actors joined Dunton on stage for the live Q & A

Local actors joined Dunton on stage for the live Q & A

“NC Sixty” is the product of work-shopped scenes from a range of local actors who worked with Dunton over the course of a month. The short scenes, which feature each actor in both lead and supporting roles, will provide those who are starting out in the industry with rich material for their reels.

There wasn’t, however, much narrative connection between scenes.

“They’re all disconnected,” Dunton said, “but where you will find commonality is the theme of human connection … I kept telling my actors you’re not performing, you’re not acting, you’re humanizing.”

Dunton opens up the floor to one of her child actors from the film.

Dunton opens up the floor to one of her child actors from the film.

Dunton expanded on that sentiment, explaining that people are never characterized by one simple emotion.

“No one is only scared,” she said, “you’re scared and angry and there’s a whole person behind those emotions that you have to take into account.”

She gave audiences a little taste of the kind of in-depth discussions she had with “NC Sixty” actors over their month-long workshops, and the Cuc’ crew already feels like the group has benefited from the experience.

If you’re interested in some of Dunton’s other work, check out the live script reading of her latest work in progress, “An Untitled Love Story,” at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 16, at City Stage.

Black Silkie Shorts a Cucalorus Crowd Favorite

The Black Silkie Shorts block proved to be a universal crowd pleaser during Cucalorus’ first day of screenings Thursday. The films’ unifying force were excellence – the filmmakers masters of their craft. The block featured local film and audience favorite, “Times Like Dying,” and “Satan Has a Bushy Tail,” from visiting filmmaker Louis Paxton, among others.

Many of the films seamlessly blended moments of grit and comedy with sentimentality.

Whether it was a rosy-cheeked waitress serving up dead banker to customers to protect her restaurant (“The Dandelion”), or a gang of cowboys robbing a bank to save the family farm (“Times Like Dying”), the films focus on the good intentions behind less than honorable actions.

Festival Director Dan Brawley lead the Q &A with the "Times Like Dying" cast and crew.

Festival Director Dan Brawley lead the Q &A with the “Times Like Dying” cast and crew.

“It’s ultimately a story about good people doing the wrong thing and having to live with the consequences,” director Evan Vetter said of “Times Like Dying” during the live Q&A session following the screening. Producer and writer, Anthony Reynolds, discussed the seven-year process behind the film and admitted to writing 83 drafts of the script. Working in his niche of “cowboys, guns, and robbers,” Reynolds said he noticed a lack of “Wild West” stories set east of the Mississippi and set to rectify that with “Times Like Dying.”

Audiences seemed excited to see “Times Like Dying” actor Jim Cody Williams (“Dodgeball,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,”) after the film, and Williams joked about his appreciation of playing a character out of his comfort zone.

“I’m usually the leading man, the love interest, the confused high school guy…” he said. “Now,” he continued, “this is my wheelhouse.”

Director Louis Paxton and cinematographer Richard Dunton discuss "Satan Has a Busy Tail" with audiences

Director Louis Paxton and cinematographer Richard Dunton discuss “Satan Has a Busy Tail” with audiences

The Q&A continued with director Louis Paxton and cinematographer Richard Dunton of “Satan Has a Bushy Tail,” who shared tales about filming with a squirrel on set. A squirrel handler specializing in small rodents managed “Harriet” the squirrel, who was “particularly motivated by peanut butter on a stick,” Paxton said. “No squirrels were harmed during filming,” Paxton added, “only tired cinematographers.”

We can only imagine.

For more information on our other titillating shorts blocks, check out our website.


Documentary Shorts Highlight the Importance of Community

Dorking Shorts left audiences speechless (in a good kind of way) after the lineup of docs played this morning. The shorts block featured local film “Guns in the House,” directed by Cucalorus Film Festival resident-artist Amanda Edwards, and local filmmaker Will Davis’ “Metal Man,” among others. A theme of community was present in each film, connecting  the films in a deeper way than their documentary category.

Whether it was a town dog bringing a group of neighbors together (“Fred the Town Dog“), guns and political violence tearing people apart (“Guns in the House,” “Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution”), or different communities learning from one another (“Mipso in Japan,” “Heartbeats of Fiji,“), each film inspired reflection on what makes a community and the responsibility we have to ourselves and others. “Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution,” ended the block with a powerful and inspirational call to action in regard to the Syrian struggle for freedom.

The shorts block was followed by a Q & A session with visiting and local filmmakers Davis, Edwards, and Ava Lowrey (“Fred the Town Dog”).

Filmmakers take on questions from the audience during the Q & A

Filmmakers take on questions from the audience during the Q & A

Audience members were curious about Edwards’ inspiration for “Guns in the House,” which tackles the issue of gun violence in Wilmington.

“I found it fascinating that, in America, anyone can have a gun at any time,” Edwards explained. She went on to mention that while guns are not a problem in her native England, decapitations are becoming more common.

Lowrey discussed growing up in a town close to Coosa County, Alabama, where “Fred the Town Dog” is set, and hearing about Fred’s death in her local newspaper. Lowrey’s film is a heartwarming tale about how a pooch united a small southern community on its way to becoming a ghost town.

“Metal Man” profiles 84-year-old Ernie Taylor, who creates unique metal sculptures on his Indiana farm while discussing his life philosophies. Davis said it was difficult to cut certain footage during edits because Taylor was such a fascinating subject.

Edwards agreed, adding, “It can be really heartbreaking.” “There will be deleted scenes on my website,” she added with a smirk. We look forward to it.

Catch a repeat screening of the Dorking Shorts at 10:15 a.m. Nov. 14, at Thalian Hall’s black theater. Additional filmmakers will be in attendance, including “Heartbeats of Fiji” and “Mipso in Japan”‘s Jon Kasbe.

Get your tickets here!

Cucalorus + SAG present: The Inside Scoop on Indie Casting

Mark and Lisa Mae win Emmy Award in 2012 for "Homeland"

Mark and Lisa Mae win Emmy Award in 2012 for “Homeland”

Local filmmakers and actors will have a chance Thursday afternoon to learn what it takes to snag a gig on productions ranging from big-budget Hollywood blockbusters to smaller, independent films from top casting directors.

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation and the Cucalorus Film Festival are proud to present a panel featuring four long-time film industry casting directors at 1:30 p.m. at Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Art in downtown Wilmington. The directors will school attendees on the casting process and the ins-and-outs of film production, including navigating budgets, negotiating contracts and perfecting auditioning techniques. Panelists include:

Brad Gilmore
Recent film credits include “Burying the Ex,” directed by Joe Dante, “The Automatic Hate,” directed by Justin Lerner, and “Default,” directed by Simon Brand. Gilmore was nominated for the 2012 Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for outstanding achievement in casting for “A Bag of Hammers.”

Paul Schnee
Recent projects include “The Judge,”Dallas Buyers Club” and “August: Osage County.” In addition to casting for film, Schnee is a theater director in New York.

Christian Kaplan
Kaplan is Senior Vice President of Feature Casting for 20th Century Fox Film. Some credits include “The Fault in Our Stars,” Wilmington-filmed “The Secret Life of Bees,” and “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Lisa Mae Fincannon  Working with the creative team of Fincannon and Associates in Wilmington, N.C., Fincannon has amassed an eclectic body of work, including: “Ender’s Game,” “Looper,” “Red,” “Homeland,” “The Walking Dead,” “Eastbound & Down,” and “From The Earth To The Moon.” She boasts four Emmy nominations, three Emmy wins and five Artios wins.

Fincannon, who is based in Wilmington with her husband Craig Fincannon, and his brother, Mark, got her start almost 30 years ago when studio executive Frank Capra Jr. and film producer Dino De Laurentiis were lured to the North Carolina coast for Stephen King’s “Firestarter.”

Now, the Fincannon casting agency has grown to more than 180 agents from its start with four employees during “Firestarter.”

For more information on the panel or to purchase tickets online, click here.