Cucalorus Festival Connects Technology and Creativity

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thousands of filmmakers, artists and entrepreneurs will converge on downtown Wilmington this week for the 22nd annual Cucalorus Film Festival. The five-day festival, which begins Nov. 9, showcases more than 250 indie and international films, including films directed by UNCW faculty, students and alumni.

The festival also features Cucalorus Connect, a business conference that brings leaders from prominent NC industries together to help bridge the gap between technology and creativity. The event, sponsored by UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and tekMountain, offers more than 40 programs including entrepreneur documentaries, TED talk-style panels and workshops on topics ranging from marine science to healthcare, biotechnology, film industry and financial services. Other events include the 10x10 Challenge, an initiative that brings startups and filmmakers together to make a promo video in less than five days, and Dance-a-lorus, a communion of dance and film.

"Something special happens when you bring hundreds of talented filmmakers together to meet the entrepreneurs who are shaping our economy,” according to Cucalorus Film Festival Executive Director Dan Brawley. “We think ‘Connect’ has the potential to create long-term creative partnerships and will become a place where bold new ideas find the capital to get off the ground."

The festival will also recognize Wilmington film industry legend Joe Dunton, who was influential in cultivating the indie scene in Wilmington.

Dave Monahan, associate professor and chair of the UNCW film department and a member of the Cucalorus Board of Directors, said the festival is an amazing resource for cinema lovers and filmmakers. More than 15 films and programs created by UNCW film studies students, faculty and staff will be featured in the festival.

“When I think about what makes Wilmington such a thriving film community, I think about three things: Screen Gems, UNCW Film Studies and the Cucalorus Film Festival,” he said. “They do more than just show great movies that you can’t see anywhere else for a week every fall. They host visiting film artists from around the country, they present screenings and visiting filmmaker events throughout the year, they attract independent film voices to our community.”

The Cucalorus Film Festival and Connect Conference will take place at existing and pop-up venues throughout historic downtown Wilmington and locales central to Wilmington’s startup economy. The festival is sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington, tekMountain, Sage Island and Brooks Pierce. View the festival’s full schedule here.