Cucalorus Film Festival
Wilmington, North Carolina / November 13-17, 2019 / cucalorus.org
The charming river town of Wilmington plays a central role in the genial vibe at Cucalorus, which producers consider more a creative retreat than a festival. Throw in spirited social gatherings and you have a festival that the producers say, “We think of it more like a summer camp.” The festival is filmmaker-centric, as exemplified by its residency program, which offers retreats from 10 days to three weeks to help filmmakers develop new work. Adding to the collegial feel is that the festival is award-free, an attempt to eliminate “hierarchies” according to the festival producers. As a testament to the positive energy, festival producers point to a strong bond with alumni, who often return. Premieres included John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm (U.S. premiere) and Nick Westfall’s 8 Slices (world premiere).