Send your logo to Cucalorus!

Become a sponsor of the 21st annual Cucalorus Film Festival and send your logo to Cucalorus! Get the VIP treatment and party like a filmmaker. Watch movies. Schmooze with some of the most interesting, connected people in the Port City and beyond. Explore the profound, bizarre, and fun sides of the Cucalorus experience. And best of all – everyone knows who you are, because they’ve already seen you on the Cucalorus website, eyecatcher, festival magazine, and on the big screen!

Me at the opening night party at the Bellamy Mansion!

Me at the opening night party at the Bellamy Mansion!

But don’t just take our word for it – peek into Larry Logo’s diary from last year’s festival…


9:30pm – Writing this from the porch of the Bellamy Mansion during the opening night party. Some fellow logos and I are hanging out. I don’t even mind waiting in line for more drinks (my favorite is the “Bug Juice” – tequila, pepper-honey syrup, and grapefruit juice) because of all the interesting humans around – wow, do they love to talk.

Dance-a-lorus, a mind-melting mix of film and live dance performance, kicked off the festival earlier this evening. I got to Thalian Hall a little early to pick up my all-access pass and made a beeline for the Filmmaker’s Lounge, where I ordered a free Party Punch from the bartender (2 parts moonshine, 1 part carrot juice, 1 part pineapple juice – that’s healthy, right?) and chatted with a filmmaker or two. One just arrived from Australia – whew! – and told me to check out his short film playing this weekend. Cool. Ready to stuff my face with films tomorrow.

Grooving at Visual/Sound/Walls! Music vids played on over ten screens.

Grooving at Visual/Sound/Walls! Music vids played on over ten screens.


6:30pm – Took a half-day at work and got to see a couple good movies this afternoon. I brought a couple of logo friends to see Force Majeure, that hilarious Swedish film that everyone’s been talking about at other festivals. Tonight I’m grabbing a bite downtown and exploring Visual/Sound/Walls, the music video party madness at Bourgie Nights. Apparently they have a music video set up there on an Oculus Rift. (Will that fit on my square-shaped head…?)


9:00pm – Took Lucy Logo and Lucas Logo to a film and the Sandwiches ‘n Selfies Party at Five Star Tavern. Someone made me the best pimento cheese sandwich I’ve ever had in my life…


A friend and I in front of Jengo's Playhouse - festival screening venue, Cucalorus headquarters, and backyard hangout spot.

A friend and I in front of Jengo’s Playhouse – festival screening venue, Cucalorus headquarters, and backyard hangout spot.

1:00pm – So I’ve been really excited for the Dino De Laurentiis retrospective screenings this year. He was such an awesome producer – Flash Gordon, anyone?! – and this afternoon I’ll get to watch Crimes of the Heart on the big screen and see his wife and producing partner Martha De Laurentiis talk about Wilmington film history. Maybe she’ll autograph my Hannibal Season 1 DVD?!

11:30pm – Note to self: Remember to go to the Midnight Brunch on the Henrietta Riverboat again next year!


7:00pm – I think I may have watched more films this weekend that I have in the last six months – plus lots of business cards and Facebook friend requests. Just went to the screening of this year’s 10×10 filmmaking challenge, which is a Cucalorus program that pairs up filmmakers and entrepreneurs who make a video together during the week of the festival. So cool!11:45pm – So I guess this wraps up twenty years of Cucalorus. Of course I couldn’t resist singing “Taking’ Care of Business” at the Karaoke Costume Closing Night Dance Party at Hell’s Kitchen. I can see the humans here really like karaoke. If only I had the day off tomorrow to recover…

Create your own (totally cool, not corny) Cucalorus experience this year. Join Larry Logo and friends as sponsors of Cucalorus 21! Sponsorship deadline is July 1, 2015.

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.


A Communion of Cinematography + Choreography

The Cucalorus Film Festival will kick off festivities with The Dance Cooperative this Wednesday with Dance-a-lorus, a synthesis of dance and film in a live stage event that champions collaboration as a fundamental form of creative expression in a unique sensory experience. Filmmakers have paired with choreographers to create 9 interactive performances, ranging from artistic abstraction to dramatic documentary.

Dancealorus '13

Dance-a-lorus ’13

Much like the interaction between music and the moving image, dancers engage the medium in a dialogue, inspiring audience members to intellectually and emotionally participate on a much deeper level. (No, we won’t make you get up and that for one of our dance workshops!)

Some highlights from this year’s lineup include:

-“Love or Not,” explores themes of love in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby,” and the profound effect love can have on us.

-“Silent Shout,” provides a thoughtful commentary on the constant rush and varied sources of information our generation is exposed to and how we each try to grapple with this overwhelming overload in different ways.

"Silent Shout" will premiere at Dance-a-lorus on Wednesday.

“Silent Shout” will premiere at Dance-a-lorus on Wednesday.

-“Crawl Space Lovers” offers a new way of finding oneself by an investigation of risk-taking as a vehicle to discover deeper and more intense pleasures.

-“Two Twin Brothers” examines various points of view surrounding the pivotal events of 9/11 and its consequences

Actors in "Crawl Space" explore some risk-taking techniques

Actors in “Crawl Space” explore some risk-taking techniques

-“Capture” is a structured improv performance that centers around 2 humans and various Apple equipment.

-“The Devils Are Really Angels” is a meditation on the allure of the earthly and the freedom found in renunciation

"The Devils are Really Angels"

“The Devils Are Really Angels” will premiere at Dance-a-lorus.

-“In the Pines” pulls its inspiration from an ancient Japanese poem as a meditation on solitude.

-“Lexicon” utilizes a game board as a platform that the dancers must navigate on a journey that begins with instructional narration and graduates to adventures with a puppet named Lu.

Dancers assemble on a game board in "Lexicon."

Dancers assemble on a game board in “Lexicon.”

-“A Home is a Home is a Home” explores the notion of “home,” capturing a range of emotion as it investigates multiple narratives of home.


Film and Dance meet in this multimedia art form

Film and Dance co-exist in this multimedia art form

Come experience one of the festival’s most popular traditions of interactive art at 7 p.m. Nov. 12, at Thalian Hall.

Tickets available here >>>