Press Room

What is a Cucalorus?

cuc•a•lor•us n., [orig. Gk. kukaloris, the dance of the shadows.]1. a film set apparatus placed in front of a light source to create a dappled lighting effect on a subject or background. also cookie, UK. gobo. 2. a film festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

About the Festival

The 23rd annual Cucalorus Festival takes place November 8-12, 2017 in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina.

Cucalorus was founded in 1994 by the underground filmmaking collective Twinkle Doon. At the inaugural event, crowds wrapped around the block to see 16 local films screening at Water Street restaurant by the Cape Fear River. These days Cucalorus takes place every November, celebrating independent and international film for five days in historic downtown Wilmington, NC. MovieMaker Magazine has recognized it as "One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World" for three years in a row. 

Cucalorus is a multi-disciplinary arts organization supporting emerging and innovative creative professionals through our annual film festival, a residency program, a summer camp for teen filmmakers, a community cinema, and an extensive community engagement program. More than 20 years in the making, Cucalorus has since grown into one of the largest film festivals in the South. More than 300 films screen each year at venues all over downtown Wilmington, attracting a large number of participating artists (350+) and thousands of fans and industry professionals (accumulated attendance in 2016 was 17,874). Festival programs focus on dance, music videos, emerging artists, social justice, works-in-progress, and international cinema. Cucalorus education and outreach programs include Global Perspectives, Works-in-Progress Lab, Latino Lens, Media Literacy, and Racial Rewind. Cucalorus is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on funds from individuals, businesses, and grants to fund its annual celebration.

Cucalorus is diving into the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship again this year during the 3rd annual Cucalorus Connect conference. Integrated into the overall film festival, Connect has 50+ events from keynotes, to panels, workshops and endless parties.  


Apply here for a free Press Pass to Cucalorus 23!


 Press Contacts

For Film Festival:  Becca Ederer,

For Connect Conference: 

Cucalorus 2017 Downloads

(Stay tuned for 2017 updates and downloads to come!)

Classic Cucalorus Logo

          Transparent / B&W / 300 dpi / PNG (with real sugar from canes)

          B&W / 300 dpi / JPEG (gluten free)

Connect Conference Logo

          Transparent / RGB Color / 300 dpi / PNG

          B&W / 300 dpi / PNG

Cucalorus Film Festival 23

          Cucalorus Film Festival Postcard

          Connect Postcard

          Cucalorus At-A-Glance (Program info and festival stats)


Stills (300dpi) Downloads - Cucalorus 23

Coming soon!

Narrative Features


Documentary Features


In the News

MovieMaker Magazine: 50 Films Worth the Entry Fee, 2017

Filmmaker Magazine: Cucalorus Film Festival

Cultured Vulture: 10 Best Film Festivals Worth Your Time In 2017

Star News: Cucalorus leader Dan Brawley to head Film Festival Alliance

Blog: La Medea: un show interactivo de cine, música, danza y teatro brillará este sábado en Jengo’s Playhouse

Wrightsville Beach Magazine: Independent Ascendant?

MovieMaker: A Little Bit of Catharsis: Cucalorus 22 is the change we want to see in the world

ExitEvent: Don’t Miss These Southeast Startup, Innovation and Tech Conferences in 2017

StarNews: Cucalorus Film Festival receives grant

Star News: Cucalorus Film Festival attendance figures released

Exit Event: 5 Takeaways from Cucalorus Connect 2016 in Wilmington

City of Wilmington: Joe Dunton Q&A Livestream 

Star News: Cucalorus Film Festival wraps 22nd year with packed screenings, festive atmosphere


Past Press Releases

Cucalorus Call for Entries 2017! 


Cucalorus Hires Blair Middleton as Development Director


Cucalorus Film Foundation and the NC Film Office Present Eleven “Filmed in NC” Filmmaker Grants


Cucalorus’ Dan Brawley Elected President of Film Festival Alliance Leads Efforts to Connect International Industry Professionals

Cucalorus 22 – Festival Spreads Love Over 5 Days of Movies and Merrymaking

Cucalorus Receives Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts