The Cucalorus Film Festival is taking a new approach to its 26th year with a hybrid format of live online events, streaming films online, and drive-in movie screenings at Curbside Cinema at UNCW. The festival is expanding dates to span fifteen days of celebrating cinema and the artists behind the works from November 11th-25th. Earlier this month, the festival released early selections and now announces the full lineup totalling 95 films, with everything from heartwarming dramas and important documentaries to obscure shorts and the just plain zany.
With a total of 8 documentary features, there is a non-fiction film for everyone with stories about Black undertakers, visionary Southern art, and immigration rights. Selections include ‘The Passing On’ produced by NC-based filmmaker Lana Garland and Megan Daniel’s heartwarming portrait of four transgender ministers called ‘Proper Pronouns’. Ten narrative films round out the features program with Sabrina Mertens ‘Time of Moulting’ headlining the Convulsions program. Danny Madden’s debut feature ‘Beast Beast’ is an inventive and critical look at social media produced by Ben Weissner. Filmmaker and Dancer Carla Forte’s experimental feature ‘Conjeo (Rabbit)’ dives deep into the creative process as an actress and director spiral into darkness as they embody the title character: the rabbit.
If you’ve been to Cucalorus, you know short films are the heartbeat of the programming, highlighting new and emerging filmmakers. Sticking with this year’s theme, all of the 77 shorts have been curated into blocks named after mushrooms. Grab a ticket for the King Oyster Shorts block which includes ‘Brother’ an award winning film from Ya’Ke Smith. Then head over to the Gassy Webcap Shorts about preserving and understanding the land to check out local filmmaker Andre Silva’s ‘Tides’. Make sure to join the live filmmaker Q&As which take place on Zoom each night at 8pm.
Festival selections include 28 films by Black directors, 57 films directed by women, 7 films by Latinx artists, and 6 films by Indigineous/American Indian filmmakers. The full lineup is available at https://www.cucalorus.org/film/ and you can grab an online pass for just $50 to see the online film selections! Please note not all films will play online as select films are drive-in only. Individual film tickets and drive-in tickets will be available on October 14th.
The Cucalorus Film Festival is sponsored by the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, University of North Carolina Wilmington, National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council and over 45 local businesses.