Willkommen de Cucalorus


Starting out as an intimate gathering at a riverside eatery, Cucalorus has become a world-wide convergence on film — an intersection of spirit, art, and creativity. Keeping pace with an explosion in the arftorm, we bring together the most innovative artists of our time, many making work that would have been inconceivable thirteen years ago. In the same way that photography forced artists in the past century to break down boundaries, the digital revolution in film has forced filmmakers of all kinds to reach beyond. In doing so, they change the face of cinema.

With the multiplication of screens in our world, from phones to laptops to airplane drop-downs, cinema takes many forms. We even have screens in our pockets! WOW! Our devotion to the image is profound. The pinnacle of this image-based religion is the film festival. Each film plays its part as a sacrifice laid down at the festival altar. Cucalorus is then like a priest-fest, where the protectors of the cinematic pantheon assemble on the Cape Fear River to share their secrets.

We invite you to commune with us in the temple of cinema. Dip a nugget of reality into the pure water of god’s blood and receive nirvana through your eyes and ears. Our cinematic darkness is an escape, a spiritual cloak to shield us from the chaos of communication. Overloaded on our newfound connectivity, human consciousness is poised to explode. Our little world doesn’t get smaller and smaller, the human spirit gets larger and larger. The immense fear and uncertainty of that transformation is overwhelming. Yet, inside the temple, cloaked in darkness, we see again the world anew.

Dancing in the chaos, children are singing their way through hell. Horses run round and round, and men are like gods riding beasts. Other men, riding waves, worship the water spirits. Monkeys with guns run rampant.The money hungry bandits who own them ruin the planet with their exploding buds. And yet we smile and wink. A lonely beaten man plays horrible music alone, a small tin can for his release. And there, the Jedi lives, hidden and silent. But then, just one man stands up and says: Why? Why shoot now and question later? Why leave people to die in deserts? So this revolution begins. Peace becomes a word of power.
People question killing people.

So where does that leave us? A few of us, in a blumetal barn on Princess Street, want to change the way you see the world. At the festival this year, we will make you sing, even before the lights dim down, we’ll drag you out of your seat to join our motley chorus of chaos. We burn deep into the night, searching for the force of the universe, touching it briefly in a stream of 0s and 1s twisted through fine polished lenses in the hands of collective genius. Spinning madly, small machines convert digits into experience.
Wrapped in darkness, everything will be OK. In this experience, we believe.

– Dan Brawley