Cucalorus Film Foundation
815 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
executive director: dan brawley
rachel taylor, programming coordinator
channing duke, operations manager
Channing is a CFCC graduate and current UNCW film studies student. This is her fourth year on staff at Cucalorus. A self-proclaimed mad scientist and outer space enthusiast, in her off time, Duke works on local film productions and is designing her own international space station.
becca ederer, communications coordinator
Becca, a UNCW film studies graduate, is working her first year with Cucalorus. She loves all types of movies from Film Noir to Bollywood, and can often be found exploring the outdoors. After jumping out of several planes in South America, she hopes to one day have her skydiving license. Strike up a conversation and she'll never stop talking, because she is your biggest fan!
joey toler, sponsorship coordinator
Joey Toler is new to Cucalorus, but not new to working in the arts. Having just relocated to Wilmington after 3 tries in 10 years to be with his significant other, he leaves behind a job as Executive Director of the Beaufort County Arts Council in Washington, NC where he developed relationships with arts leaders across the state. He hopes that some of this experience will come into play in his new role with Cucalorus, and is very happy to be in a new environment with new challenges. He is especially excited about not being in charge.
Recently relocated from a no-kill animal resort on the outskirts of Conway, South Carolina, Izzie is a Mini-Pin and Spaniel mix with a few unknown ancestral lines. Izzie works diligently to maintain staff morale by licking hands, faces, and other places. You can find her chewing sticks, practicing her stunt dog tricks, and looking out the window.
Jacqueline Olive founded Tell It Media to create documentaries that tell nuanced stories of the people, places and cultures that make up our diverse world. She coordinated the production of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary series, Independent Lens, and Global Voices for three seasons. Bringing experience in the journalism field since 2002, Jackie also co-created Black to Our Roots, which broadcast on PBS World. Jacqueline has produced transmedia projects as a fellow with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
Dylan Lee, Treasurer
Dylan Lee lives in Wilmington with his wife Nicole and two Labradors. He loves Wilmington so much that he has moved here on four separate occasions! His first try was after he finished college at UNCG in 1992. Lee finally stuck in 2000, when he moved to be station manager for TV channel GTV8. Lee works to make WIlmington a better place and wants people to know that Cucalorus weekend is the best weekend of the year in this great city.
As the Account Specialist for Entertainment Partners Purchasing Service and EP Financial Solutions, Hillary Meinheit works closely with the vast majority of film and television projects that come into the state. As the great-granddaughter of John T Hoggard, Meinheit's roots run deep in Wilmington and she is excited to see the success of the film industry in the region and the expansion of film studies and productions throughout the entire state.
Bo Webb has been involved with Cucalorus since it began in 1994, and was one of the original members of Twinkle Doon, a group of friends and filmmakers who thought a festival would be a good idea for Wilmington. He's been on the Cucalorus Board for many years in various roles, including Chair. He works in the film business as a camera operator and director.
Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger formed pUNK Films with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. Veninger has produced six features in the past six years, which have premiered at TIFF and numerous festivals worldwide. Currently, Veninger is a part-time member of the Film Studies Faculty at York University, Screenwriter-in-Residence at the University of Toronto, and she recently initiated the pUNK Films FEMMES LAB to foster feature films written and directed by women.
Jim O’Brien is an entertainment and business lawyer with Poyner Spruill LLP. O'Brien is the preeminent independent film lawyer in North Carolina and represents clients in many other aspects of the entertainment industry. He also has a significant corporate and general business practice and serves as outside general counsel to many established and emerging growth companies in various industries. O'Brien is serving his second term on the North Carolina Governor’s Film Council and may be reached at email@example.com, 910.343.3434 in Wilmington or 919.783.1120 in Raleigh.
Mike Duncan is the CEO and Creative Director of Sage Island Digital Marketing, an agency which has spent the last 20 years at the forefront of internet marketing. An innovative thinker and entrepreneur with expertise in start-ups, turnaround, and rapid growth, Mike’s ability to analyze key business drivers and develop compelling strategies has produced countless success stories.
Dan Brawley, Sr.
Dan Brawley has over 40 years of experience in large, complex cases. He concentrates his practice on the areas of construction law, commercial litigation and maritime law, as well as personal injury and property damage claims. His practice has significant concentration in business tort litigation including prosecution and defense of claims for breach of fiduciary duties, unfair and deceptive trade practices, fraud and constructive fraud, among others, and has handled numerous cases before the North Carolina Business Court.
Omari Fox is an artist and founder of his own signature visual style. He currently serves as in the leadership of Alternate Roots on the Executive Committee and the Resources for Social Change innovation ensemble, organizing the membership and the communities advocating for the principles of Community Engagement. Since attending the 2010 Cucalorus Film Festival, Fox has hosted a number of events, and supported community engagement work for social justice based films and documentaries formally joining the board in 2012.
Johnny Griffin has been the Director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc. for 15 years. Prior to joining the film commission, he worked as a Location Manager in the film and television industry for 14 years. His list of credits include the films Crime of the Heart, Glory, Rambling Rose, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Ace Ventura - When Nature Calls, Renaissance Man, 28 Days, and the television series Matlock. He is currently a Certified Film Commissioner with the Association of Film Commissioners International. Prior to moving to Wilmington in 1985, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures.
Sean Ahlum is the Director of Business Development at TekMountain. Sean previously served as the director of technology and communications for the UNCW's Office of Housing and Residence Life. The intersections of technology, community, and business development are the basis of his passion. Sean received multiple degrees from UNCW including a BA in English, an MFA in Professional Creative Writing, and an MBA from the Cameron School of Business. He spends his free time fishing, surfing and enjoying leisurely walks with his wife and dog.
Rebecca Kenyon is a London-based filmmaker and director of 'mote of dust films' focused on social documentaries. Whilst making multi award-winning feature Something You Can Call Home she was a founding member of the artist residency program at Cucalorus where it also premiered, and has gone on to screen at 20 film festivals and 80 community events. She has recently completed an international film and theatre live streamed project, Phone Home, based around refugee experiences, and is currently working on a documentary with end of life doulas.
Hope Dickson Leach
Hope Dickerson Leach completed her MFA in filmmaking at Columbia University. Her award-winning thesis film The Dawn Chorus was selected for Sundance, Edinburgh, London, and many other festivals. Since her return to the UK she has made further acclaimed short works for Channel 4, Film London, the UKFC, and the National Theatre of Scotland. She is currently developing several feature films about strong crazy women and a cross-media project about celebrity culture.
Geoff Marslett is a native Texan who took a circuitous path to filmmaking, studying mathematics, philosophy, art, science, and languages at St. John’s College before returning to Texas to pursue an MFA in filmmaking at UT (2001). His critically acclaimed Monkey vs. Robot screened at over 25 festivals worldwide, was distributed theatrically, and broadcast on HBO, PBS, and Univision.
Josephine Decker is a Brooklyn-based performer and filmmaker. A magical realist at heart, she attempts to navigate the wavering sea-tide between fish-heads and teddy bears--always aiming for the truth. Her performance art has received national coverage, and her feature doc Bi The Way, exploring the rise of bisexuality in America and available on Logo and Netflix, screened at SXSW, Silverdocs, and about 100 festivals worldwide.
Based out of Rome, Alfredo Covelli is an Italian screenwriter of features and TV series. During the last three years he has been directing films (any lengths, any genres—comedy, docs, experimental) shot in Italy, Israel, Palestine, Himalayas, and California. These films have been selected in 30 countries, in more than 150 festivals, winning a few awards in the U.S. Covelli is the founder of newborn Meproducodasolo production company, and he's producing films of new valiant and independent talents.
Known for his unflinching and veracious style of storytelling, Ya'ke Smith is a rising voice in independent cinema. His films have received world-wide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 80 film festivals, including The Cannes International Film Festival, The Austin Film Festival, and The Urbanworld Film Festival. He is the recipient of a Director’s Guild of America Student Film Award, a regional Student Academy Award and an HBO Short Film Award. His short, Katrina’s Son, was eligible for the 2012 Academy Award in short filmmaking.
Adam Donaghey, founder of Zero Trans Fat Prods., is an award-winning independent film producer from Texas. His work has been nominated for both the Independent Spirit and Gotham Awards, and has been showcased at fests including Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW, Sitges, LA Film Festival, AFI Fest, Hamptons Int’l Film Festival and Thessaloniki; and via distributors including IFC Films, Factory 25, XLRator Media, Cinetic Media, Fandor, Gathr, the Lifetime Channel and the Lifetime Movie Network.
Laura is an Italian, London based cross-interdisciplinary, highly versatile filmmaker, art director and curator. A TorinoFilmLab and BAFTA crew member, she extensively works across multi-award-winning UK and international independent productions from shorts and promos, through to features and cross-media, including theatre and dance. All her work has been screened and awarded worldwide at major film festivals such as Sundance, London BFI, Venice, and Berlinale. Her most recent credits include: That Good Night, Marco Lusini: The Colours of the Human Soul, Daniel and Influx.
Cucalorus is made possible by an enormous volunteer staff. Each year hundreds of brilliant and talented people like you devote hours and hours to make the annual festival a truly unique and southern experience. To join the Cucalorus Family of dysfunktional spirits throw your 'deets' into this volunteer application. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a holler at 910-343-5995.