Cucalorus named one of 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine


Wilmington, NC – July 19, 2023 Cucalorus Film Festival has been named one of MovieMaker’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World for 2023. The annual list recognizes festivals that go out of their way to be innovative, welcoming, and simply cool. The full list of festivals is below.


“Our 25 Coolest Film Festivals list exists because of festivals like Cucalorus,” said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy. “ It’s the rare festival that has nothing to do with competition or heavy-handed networking. It’s all about art, love, and cool. Dan Brawley and the rest of the team cultivate a sense of support, inclusion, and curiosity — they truly love films, the more daring and inventive, the better — and if that sounds like you, this is probably your dream festival. It’s a nice bonus that it happens to be in a film town that’s both a place of cinematic legend and a hotbed of new projects.”


MovieMaker’s 2023 Panel of Cool includes Katie Bignell and Ian Bignell (Festival Formula), as well as filmmakers Hanadi Elyan (Salma’s Home), Camrus Johnson (“She Dreams at Sunrise”), Aaron Hills (Cinedigm, Fish Kill Flea), Geoff Marslett (Quantum Cowboys), Sylvia Caminer (Follow Her), and Ondi Timoner (Last Flight Home).


And here’s the complete list of MovieMaker’s 25 Coolest Film Festivals of 2023:


Anchorage International Film Festival 

Atlanta Film Festival

Austin Film Festival

Champs-Élysées Film Festival

Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival

Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival

Cleveland International Film Festival

Cordillera International Film Festival






Grossman Fantastic Film & Wine Festival 

Heartland International Film Festival

Indy Shorts Film Festival

Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival

Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival

The Loft Film Fest


New York International Children’s Film Festival

Nevada City Film Festival

Sidewalk Film Festival



Tallgrass Film Festival

Woodstock Film Festival

Note: There are more than 25 festivals due to ties.


MovieMaker is dedicated to the art and craft of making movies. Our list of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in 2023 appears in our new issue, with Blue Beetle star Xolo Mariduena on the cover.

Early bird Pegasorus passes are currently on sale for the 29th annual Cucalorus Film Festival, to be held Nov. 15-19, 2023 in Wilmington, NC. This means priority access to all film screenings, performances, conversations, parties, and social events. Visit for more information.




MovieMaker publisher Deirdre McCarrick:

MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy: