Cucalorus Brings Radical Cinema and Healing Hugs to Thousands of Attendees


Magic Cheese Film Festival by kids coming up on December 4


Wilmington, NC, November 23, 2021 – Five days of shared celebration echoed in downtown Wilmington as the 27th annual Cucalorus Festival closed in the wee hours on Monday, November 15. Organizers, filmmakers and performers brought the festival to an end with a mixture of Racer Trash videos, curious bar offerings, and some questionable Karaoke choices at the festival’s tricked out homebase at Jengo’s Playhouse in the burgeoning Soda Pop District. Official attendance numbers will be released soon.


Alex Liu’s honest and personal documentary about sex education in America, A Sexplanation, kicked off the festival on a sex-positive note as Cucalorus returned to in-the-flesh screenings after a year of pandemic inspired Drive-ins. Catherine Bainbridge’s RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, sponsored by the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the Lumbee Film Festival, drew one of the largest crowds of the festival, with dozens of attendees lined up down Princess Street for the Thursday afternoon screening. Kim Pevia, the Director of the Lumbee Film Festival, shared opening remarks along with an announcement about a partnership between the Lumbee Film Festival, Cucalorus and the North Carolina Museum of Art to honor the enduring legacy of musician and American Indian Link Wray over the next three years. Charly Lowry, another incredible musician featured in RUMBLE, performed at Hi-Wire Brewing after the screening for festival attendees. 


Film industry icon Chunky Huse got a much deserved nod at the beginning of the Krusty Shorts block, one of many strong short documentary selections included in more than 130 festival films. PBS’s Reel South: HINDSIGHT series, which featured 6 short documentaries from POC filmmakers, brought an entire choir to the festival for a post-screening performance and discussion. 


Twitch-famous editing collective Racer Trash was the darling of Cucalorus with four nights of ongoing mischief at Jengo’s Playhouse and an unforgettable experience on the mainstage at Thalian for their adoring destruction of David Lynch’s masterpiece Blue Velvet. What will they do next? Who knows! But stay tuned.


The fun doesn’t stop with Cucalorus though! As a part of its youth engagement program, Cucalorus has partnered with DREAMS in Wilmington to put on the The Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Magic Cheese Film Festival, a festival run by students at DREAMS just for kids! The film festival will be held in Jengo’s Playhouse at 4pm on Dec. 4th, and tickets are available for purchase at Get your cheese now while it lasts!

Cucalorus is sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, University of North Carolina Wilmington, the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council and over 70 local businesses.


Cucalorus is a multi-disciplinary organization supporting emerging and innovative artists through an annual film festival, two regional festivals, a residency program, a community cinema, an outdoor film series, and youth education programs. Cucalorus brings people together to celebrate, discover, and create. The annual festival provides a non-competitive environment to support independent filmmakers, performance artists, and community organizers who use storytelling to transform our world. More information is available at