How the Cucalorus Film Festival Began

Cucalorus was founded in 1994 by the underground filmmaking collective Twinkle Doon. Launched as a single evening of film at Water Street restaurant by the Cape Fear River, Cucalorus has since grown into an interdisciplinary organization supporting innovation in film, performance and business with programming throughout the year from our growing creative campus in the Soda Pop district. The festival, our largest annual event,  takes place every November, celebrating independent and international film, creativity on stage, and innovation in entrepreneurship for five days in historic downtown Wilmington, NC.

Embracing a long history of showcasing innovation beyond the screen, the Cucalorus festival is now defined by three ambitious programs: Film, Stage, and Connect. The newly launched Stage Experience is a showcase of bold, original productions in dance, music, comedy, theater, and performance. The Connect Conference brings together emerging entrepreneurs for an interactive program of panels, speakers, and workshops to cultivate meaningful relationships driven by creativity. And the Cucalorus Film Festival is a 23 year-old celebration of bold, original cinema from the most challenging filmmakers of today and tomorrow with a reputation for late night parties and social activism.