The wait is over – Cucalorus 20’s early selections are here


The Cucalorus Film Festival, presented by PNC, unveiled a strong lineup of early selections for this year’s 20th anniversary festival, taking place November 12-16 in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. The 89 early picks range from love-lost unicorns and teenage bank robbers, to family flicks and social justice documentaries. In all, more than 200 films will be screened during Cucalorus, making it one of the largest film showcases in the United States.

Dino De Laurentiis stands on the set of “Firestarter” in 1984 at the newly built studios on 23rd Street in Wilmington. STARNEWS / CHARLIE ARCHAMBAULT

In keeping with the festival’s multidisciplinary tradition, Cucalorus will open with the live performance Dance-a-lorus, a blend of film and dance that features troupes and choreographers from across the U.S. This year’s festival will also honor Dino DeLaurentiis and his lasting legacy on film culture in North Carolina. There will be special screenings of “Flash Gordon,” “King Kong Lives,” “Cat’s Eye” and “Maximum Overdrive.”

“As we prepare to celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary, we’re excited about how Cucalorus has grown,” the festival’s Executive Director, Dan Brawley, said. “It continues to be one of the top regional festivals in the country as we showcase a special mix of important premiers with a continued commitment to supporting regional artists. Downtown Wilmington is the perfect setting for the diverse range of programming at Cucalorus and our audiences are some of the best in the world.”

Some of the remarkable selections from the early lineup include David Robert Mitchell’s Cannes horror breakout “It Follows,” Ukrainian drama “The Tribe” (winner of three Cannes Critic’s Week awards), Joanna Coates’ indie drama “Hide and Seek,” Josephine Decker’s “Thou Wast Mild and Lovely,” Leah Meyerhoff’s “I Believe in Unicorns,” and Nathan Silver’s “Uncertain Terms.” Selected documentaries by North Carolina filmmakers include “The Hip Hop Fellow,” “Occupy the Imagination,” “Private Violence,” “Cotton Road” and “Daylight Come: Life After Rape in the Congo.

Jake Weary and Maika Monroe in "It Follows." Courtesy of Mongrel Media.

Jake Weary and Maika Monroe in “It Follows.” Courtesy of Mongrel Media.


Short films are a primary focus at Cucalorus, with more than 140 projected to make the final line-up. Shorts blocks are crafted to focus on a range of different topics, including dance, comedy, horror, animation, documentary and global cinema. Twenty North Carolina natives made the early selections list, along with the world premiere of “Happy Birthday to Me” by Peter Mackie Burns, the family friendly fix “So You’ve Grown Attached” by Kate Tsang, and the bizarre festival favorite “Master Muscles” by Efren Hernandez.

Jehina Malik in "Master Muscles."

Jehina Malik in “Master Muscles.”

Further additions to the line-up, including the Works-in-Progress program, will be announced later in September. The final film list and schedule will be released in October. Discounted passes are available at Members of the press should visit to apply for credentials.