MovieMaker Magazine Names Cucalorus one of the Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee


Wilmington, NC – MovieMaker today announced that Cucalorus Film Festival has been named to its annual list of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, celebrating festivals that serve moviemakers and audiences in some of the most intriguing destinations in the world. Cucalorus has landed on the list for a record breaking 12 years in a row.

MovieMaker, a film magazine and website based in Los Angeles, compiles its annual list based on surveys, filmmaker testimonials, and visits to festivals, among other factors. Key considerations include how much assistance a festival provides to traveling filmmakers;  recent premieres at the festival; opportunities to meet distributors, fans, fellow filmmakers and press; and whether festivals are Academy-qualifying.

“This is really the ultimate compliment,” shared Chief Instigating Officer Dan Brawley. “We work so hard to make sure that filmmakers are getting a fair shake and that filmmakers aren’t being exploited by the thousands of festivals out there looking for films. There are so many great fests on this list, it’s really humbling to be considered such a valuable opportunity for filmmakers.”

MovieMaker editor Tim Molloy offered, “Cucalorus goes against a lot of the criteria we use for creating this list: It doesn’t give out awards, it isn’t Academy qualifying, you won’t take home any prize money. But what Cucalorus does better than almost anyone is build intense love and loyalty among its die-hard attendees, perhaps because it doesn’t pit them against each other. It’s a nurturing, affectionate, (sometimes goofily) fun festival that deeply values people and celebrates their differences, while supporting their dreams. It earned a spot on our list through sheer love of film and filmmaking, and the courage to blaze its own glorious path.”

“Since we’re all eager to travel, we gave extra points this year to festivals in magnificent destinations we might never visit if not for an excellent film festival. And we weighed whether those festivals make travel easy and affordable for filmmakers,” said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy. “Also, you caught us — there are over 50 festivals on this list. We very enthusiastically endorse every single one of these festivals, and decided it wouldn’t be right to force tie-breakers just to get to an even 50.”

Here’s the list of MovieMaker’s 2022 List of Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, in alphabetical order:


American Black Film Festival

Atlanta Film Festival

Austin Film Festival

BendFilm Festival

Bentonville Film Festival

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Blackstar Film Festival

Brooklyn Film Festival

Calgary International Film Festival

Camden International Film Festival

Catalina Film Festival

Cinequest Film & VR Festival

Cleveland International Film Festival

Cucalorus Film Festival

Edmonton International Film Festival

Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival

Fantasia International Film Festival

Fantastic Fest

Female Eye Film Festival


FIN Atlantic International Film Festival

Florida Film Festival

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Galway Film Fleadh

Hamptons International Film Festival

Heartland International Film Festival/

Indy Shorts International Film Festival

Hollyshorts Film Festival

Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

IndieLisboa International Film Festival

Indie Memphis Film Festival

Julien Dubuque International Film Festival

Locarno Film Festival

Louisiana Film Prize

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

Miami Jewish Film Festival

Micheaux Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival

Nevada City Film Festival

New Orleans Film Festival

Oberhausen International Short Film Festival

Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBTQ Film Festival

Portland Film Festival

San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

Slamdance Film Festival

Tallgrass Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival

Warsaw Film Festival

Whistler Film Festival