20th anniversary Docutime Film Festival returns in celebration of founder Paula Haller


Wilmington, NC- The Docutime Film Festival is coming back for its 20th anniversary to celebrate founder Paula Haller and to continue its reputation for bringing acclaimed documentaries to Wilmington. Documentary-lovers can experience a full day of award-winning, enlightening entertainment. Docutime is being reborn after a brief hibernation through a premier partnership between Cucalorus Film Foundation and WHQR Public Media and will take place at Jengo’s Playhouse on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

Founder Paula Haller originally partnered with WHQR in 2003 to host the annual one-day event, adding to the scope of quality films already available in Wilmington. Organizers are hoping that Haller will make a brief appearance on Saturday, according to Dan Brawley, Cucalorus Executive Director. “Cucalorus was there to help Paula get it all started, providing projection equipment and technical support,” Brawley shares. “And Eddie Blakey was the main projectionist for Docutime in its earliest years. So we’re just honored to be able to continue this legacy and to share great documentary films with the community.” Attendees will find a photo of founder Paula Haller riding a camel on display in the Jengo’s Playhouse lobby along with a portrait of Eddie Blakely throughout the festival. Reports also indicate that Jason Momoa (or a cardboard likeness, hard to say) will also be in attendance.

This year’s festival will kick off at 10am with a screening of the visually stunning documentary, Deep Rising, directed by Matthiew Rytz and narrated by Jason Momoa.  A riveting tale of geopolitical, corporate and scientific intrigue, the film exposes the inner workings of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a secretive United Nation instrument which oversees nearly half our planet’s surface on the ocean floor.

Celebrate over forty years of music from the iconic folk band, the Indigo Girls, with the critically- acclaimed documentary  Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After All, starting at 1:15pm.  A Galactic Symphony of Shorts follows at 4 pm, exploring justice, music and mental health. The festival concludes at 7:30pm with the heartfelt Academy Award nominee, The Eternal Memory, whose profound love story balances memory with the unbreakable human bond.

An all-day festival pass is $35 and individual tickets for screenings are $10. Passholders gain access to all of the screenings, half-priced lunch from Bowstring Burgers & Brewyard, and an invite to the social hour in Jengo’s Backyard. Tickets and passes are on sale now at jengos.eventive.org/schedule.