Dan’s Picks II:
Just to keep things interesting, I’m going to start with Thursday, picking and stabbing around at the schedule for the hidden gems. If you haven’t already, rip that schedule out the middle of the Cuc 13 mag and get your pens out…

So it’s pretty easy for me here – the Blue Velvet tour is one of the few things at the festival that I haven’t already seen. Francine DeCoursey leads this location tour and anecdotal journey through Wilmington aboard the Wilmington Trolley. Meet at Thalian at 9am and grab breakfast at the festival cafe before getting on board for the first ever Cucalorus Blue Velvet Tour.

So now it’s getting tough. The choices are spread pretty wide across the board as the middle of the day hits. EVERYTHING’S COOL is a winner for the earth conscious and IRA AND ABBY is a rock-solid, mainstream love story – either one is win, win.

I’ll probably have to hit around a few of the meaty shorts blocks in the afternoon. Veal shorts has some amazing, experimental work, including another installment from video surveillance fiend Bill Noland. The Flank Shorts on the main stage deliver with some crowd-pleasing, 35mm shorts. And the Prime Cut shorts prove that the short-subject documentary genre is alive and well. I think I’ll pop back-and-forth between these screenings, hopefully dodging around that whole ‘paper ticket’ thing. Yikes!

For anyone whose not into the shorts thing – KOMMA is an outstanding, atmospheric film with one kick-ass performance-art scene that makes the whole film worthwhile. And it’s screening at Lumina Theater, where the 35mm print will look oh, so sweet.

So now it gets ridiculous. I couldn’t possibly pick a clear path this night. I’m guessing that Wilmington’s caught on that Erica Dunton is the hottest thing going, so her film REDMEANSGO will be sold out and packed to the rafters. (But don’t miss her party later….) Wrightsville Beach will have descended on Lumina to catch Patrick Trefz’s unconventional surf doc THREAD – and to catch up with surfer, photographer and doc subject Michael Halsband, who will be in town from NYC. I think I’ll find a comfy seat at 6pm, a little before the madness begins, to watch SOLDIERS OF CONSCIENCE – a non-preachy doc that really touches deep in its investigation of conscientous objectors. Director Gary Weimberg will be in attendance. I can’t wait to find out what he had to do to get “official permission” from the US Army. Scary.

I’ll be too tired to do much at this point. Dropping down at the festival cafe for some food and maybe grabbing the last free Tuaca Sample in the Moving Arts Expo sounds like a good idea. I’ll have to watch from the mezzanine lobby as the crowds pile in to see THE MEMORY THIEF and MONSTER CAMP. Both the filmmakers will be on hand for these screenings.

Erica Dunton’s clever film turns into an even more clever party at the Cellar on Thursday night at 9pm – immediately following the screening of RedMeansGo. So here’s the deal:

it is a traffic light party with the following dress code:
red - if you have a partner
green - if you want one
and yellow if you're not sure!

I'll end the night resting at Jengo's Playground and chatting with host Joel Fernando, who will certainly have something up his sleeve to keep me going all night long. And then, Captain Dan vanishes into the night. See you on the morrow.

Oh yeah!
Five Filmmakers who rokk on Thursday:
Erica Dunton - REDMEANSGO
Madi Piller - TORO BRAVO
Cullen Hoback - MONSTER CAMP
Jacob Hatley - CHINA