Two Cucalorus selections earn Academy Award nominations


2013’s “Evening on the Red Carpet” at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.

Local film lovers and Cucalorus attendees might recognize two Cuc’ 19 festival selections among the nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards during Cucalorus’ annual fundraiser, “An Evening on the Red Carpet,” March 2 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington.

The Act of Killing,” and “Feral,” which wowed audiences this past fall at Cucalorus 19, have been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature and Animated Short categories, respectively.

In “The Act of Killing,” which chronicles mass murder in Indonesia, director Joshua Oppenheimer challenges unrepentant death squad leaders to dramatize their role in the genocide. The hallucinatory result is a “cinematic fever dream,” and an “unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.”

The film (now streaming on Netflix) has found massive success among critics and audiences and won Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Production at this year’s Cinema Eye Honors, which recognized the finest non-fiction accomplishments of the year. It will go head-to-head in the Oscars race with another Cinema Eye winner, “Cutie and the Boxer,” and other critically acclaimed docs, including The Square.”

In Daniel Sousa’s animated short “Feral,” a wild boy is found in the woods by a solitary hunter and brought back to civilization. Alienated by a strange new environment, the boy tries to adapt by using the same strategies that kept him safe in the forest. If you missed “Feral” during the Button Bush shorts block at Cucalorus, filmmaker Daniel Sousa has made the 12-minute short available to rent for or buy on Vimeo on Demand.

If you haven’t researched this year’s other Academy Award nominees, now’s the time to head to the theater – that is, if you want to have a chance of competing in the Cucalorus Oscar pool. Stay warm inside Thalian Hall this weekend and catch a special Cinematique presentation of the Oscar nominated short films— Live Action Shorts on Friday night and Animated Shorts on Saturday night.

The festival’s fifth annual “Evening on the Red Carpet” fundraiser – hosted at Wilmington’s EUE/Screen Gems Studios – will gather local film industry talent, city leaders and young and old film buffs for a true celebration of the film industry. The soiree will kick off at 7:30 p.m. as Red Carpet rockers fill Screen Gems Studios, delighting in local cuisine, an innovative selection of crafty cocktails, a curated silent auction and the live Oscars broadcast projected onto multiple GIANT screens.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support the 20th annual Cucalorus Film Festival, hosted in Wilmington, NC on November 12-16, 2014.

Reserve your seat for $100 or get the special lovers discount for couples at $180! (Click to purchase.)

That’s all for now folks. We’ll see you on the red carpet!

Peace and warm fuzzies,