Now accepting submissions for 2013! Simply use our online entry form and mail your films to Jengo's Playhouse. Please include an embarrassing receipt or a drawing of your soul.



2013 Deadlines and Entry Fees:

All Entries:
Early - June 20, $25
Regular - July 10, $35
Late - July 25, $45
WAB Extended - August 1, $55

Early - June 20, $20
Regular - July 10, $25
Late - July 25, $30
WAB Extended - August 1, $40

August 15, NO FEE!
Audition date to be announced.

Music Videos -- Visual/Sound/Walls:
Early - July 10, $10
Regular - July 25, $20
Late - August 8, $30
WAB Extended - August 15, $40

Surfalorus Film Festival
May 23, NO FEE!

Youth Films
new! for youth, by youth
deadline for entry: September 10, NO FEE!

Artist Residency
Details coming soon.... Holymeatballs you're gonna live with us.

Outreach Scholarship Artist
July 20, email Jill Tefft for more info.

Cucalorus accepts entries on a rolling basis. Submit anytime of the year! Please let us know on your entry form if you have already submitted through


  1. Completed entry form for each submission.
  2. A DVD or an online screener that includes:
    • Submission title
    • Entrant's name and contact details
    • The applicable entry fee
    • One embarrassing receipt (or a drawing of your soul)


Please send all packages, toys, baby goats, receipts and films to:

Cucalorus Submissions

Jengo's Playhouse

815 Princess Street

Wilmington, NC 28401


Exceptions, Payments and Refunds

  1. There are no exceptions to these deadlines or fees, except when we make exceptions!
  2. Please make all fees payable to Cucalorus.
  3. Entry fees are non-refundable.
  4. There are no entry fees for residents of New Hanover County.
  5. Bribes are welcomed and encouraged.
  6. Cucalorus endorses reckless behavior, generally.

Program partickulations

All Entries
Submissions made through our online form or through Withoutabox are considered for a wide range of festival programs focusing on emerging and innovative filmmakers, North Carolina artists, social justice, student films, films by youth, shorts, and international cinema. The festival strives to showcase diverse, international artists of all ages, genders, races, economics, hairstyles, religions, and backgrounds.

The Works-in-Progress program plays on the double meaning of the word “progress” by supporting films in-production by progressive filmmakers exploring social justice. The program creates an intimate opportunity for artists to share unfinished works and engage unexpected audiences in the filmmaking process. The program will showcase ten projects and provide direct financial support to at least 15 filmmakers through honorariums, travel stipends, lodging, airfare and rental fees with a special focus on supporting North Carolina filmmakers. The program includes outreach events, public screenings, strategy gatherings, and community engagement sessions. Films in the 2012 program focused on homelessness, poverty, race, agriculture, women’s rights, global economics, and education. The Works-in-Progress program is a partnership between Alternate ROOTS, Working Films, the Southern Documentary Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Launched in 2006 through a partnership with local choreographer’s collective the Dance Cooperative, Dance-a-lorus has grown to be one of the most important programs at the festival. Through Dance-a-lorus, the organization supports choreographers collaborating with filmmakers and choreographers experimenting with film. Dance-a-lorus includes a live showcase of new works, a series of master classes, and a curated program of dance films. The culminating performance serves as the opening night event for the annual Cucalorus Film Festival. Sixty-seven dancers, 18 filmmakers and 13 choreographers participated in Dance-a-lorus last year from New Hanover County, Greensboro, New York, and Lexington.

Music Videos: Visual/Sound/Walls
An experimental venue crammed full of music vids, surf movies and installation oriented artistical evolutions. The centerpiece of the program is a seamless mix of mind-blowing music videos from visionary artists projected onto multiple surrounding surfaces that transitions into a life-altering live performance by one of the bands in the videos. How can you jump on this??? --->   just make a music video and send it to us. Booom. No really, send us your music video, we really really wanna see it.

Surfalorus Film Festival
Our annual showcase of films about surfing and other water-related sports is now its own film festival! Coming this summer from July 18-20, Surfalorus showcases and supports innovative artists from the global surf community.


Frequently Asked Questions from Filmmakers

Are you serious about sending in an embarrassing receipt or a drawing of my soul with my entry?
Quite. But it's just for good fun. Take your best crack at it. This is what keeps us going in the wee hours of the night.

Should I send my film to Cucalorus?
We encourage all filmmakers to send us their work. Anything goes! All films are screened by a dedicated team of programmers, made up of accomplished filmmakers, industry professionals, artists, the occasional preacher and one socialist realtor. We accept student films, funny films, erotic films, political films, experimental films, fancy big-money films, and backyard duct-tape films. Anything you can put on a dvd or hide on the internet, send it in. Even though we don't give awards (see below), only one in every ten films get into the festival - so send us your best stuff and be nice to us because we have to watch a lot of movies and we love you.

Why doesn't Cucalorus give out awards?
Cucalorus say: competition sucks. It often takes hundreds of people to make a film, so why does one guy get the little statue? Ideas shouldn't be owned by people, and people shouldn't be singled out and ordered in a hierarchy. In order to create an open environment, where ideas are exchanged freely, Cucalorus avoids the competitive tension so prevalent at other fests. Laid back and low down rule the day in Cucaloria.

How can I get my film into Cucalorus?
Make a good film. Don't sweat the graphics on your DVD cover. Sweat the story and the camera. Keep making films, and keep sending them in.

Where is Cucalorus?
Cucalorus takes place in historic downtown Wilmington. Most festival events are within walking distance of each other, helping to ward off movie-butt syndrome. Wilmington is home to EUE Screen Gems studios, an unruly lot of indie filmmakers, and a thriving, progressive arts community.

Can my film screen at Jengo's Playhouse?
Absolutely. Send your film to our office (at Jengo's Playhouse) with an official entry form and a note requesting a Jengo's screening.

When should I submit my film?
Cucalorus accepts submissions on a rolling basis. We use our submission base year round in scheduling Jengo's screenings and for our festival line-up. Submit your film as soon as you've finished it. Download whatever entry form Is on our site (even if it has old dates and stuff on it. We live at the beach, where everything's cool all the time.)

Do you accept student films?
Yes. At each festival we present a collection of the best student films from around the world.

Can I submit a 'rough-cut'?
Absolutely. Send your film in and then send in newer versions as you make changes. This happens all the time, just make sure to note that it is a rough cut.

What does 'Works-In-Progress' entail?
The Works-in-Progress Category offers filmmakers at all stages of production an opportunity to showcase their films in a workshop-style setting. Narrative and non-fiction films are eligible to apply. Films focused on social issues and justice are especially encouraged to apply. The workshop is intended to foster dialogue between filmmakers and target audiences, thereby providing critical feedback for moving your project forward. This will be an invaluable opportunity for those hoping to eventually screen their finished film in other notable festivals.