Innovation in the Digital Economy Brings the Future to Popular Wilmington Film Festival

Friday, November 03, 2017

Cucalorus Festival, one of the Port City’s most celebrated film events, returns to downtown Wilmington Nov. 8-12 and is set to screen more than 250 features and 70 documentaries – many of which are directed by or feature UNCW faculty, students and alumni.

Developed through a partnership between the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and tekMountain, Cucalorus CONNECT is now one of the festival’s three main components, along with film and stage. This year, CONNECT will enjoy a centralized venue, as all events will take place in Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station.

Festival director Dan Brawley remarked that after three years of groundwork, CONNECT is now “fully cooked…and has the potential to shape our region's economic identity by focusing on traded-sector, technology-driven innovation.”

The CONNECT Executive Board formed in April and is made up of more than 20 professionals from Wilmington and the surrounding areas, including Diane Durance, director of the CIE, and Laura Brogdon-Primavera, CIE manager.

This year’s conference’s theme is the connected digital economy and will feature more than 50 events, including a two-day virtual reality expo. UNCW Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli is slated to give remarks. Three CIE staff members are hosting panels; 10 Cameron School of Business students are participating in the 10x10 Shadow Screening and the CIE media team, comprised of UNCW film studies students, will be conducting live feeds throughout the weekend.

Cucalorus will recognize the inaugural class of its Emergent Leadership Fellows. This year’s class of inductees includes Stephen Harper, the Duke Energy/Betty Cameron Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Cameron School of Business; and UNCW graduates Susi Hamilton '04 and Travis Corpening '00, '06M.

Full festival schedule and ticket info is available at

-- Caroline Cropp