Cucalorus Film Festival adds business, entrepreneurship to the mix

Cucalorus Film Festival adds business, entrepreneurship to the mix

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - This year, the annual Cucalorus Film Festival will have a whole new side. The Cucalorus Connect Conference will take place alongside Cucalorus, introducing the art of business and entrepreneurship to the film festival.

"Cucalorus has a long history of bringing together visionary leaders in film," said Margee Herring, the Connect Conference Coordinator. "Connect is a natural outgrowth of that, there is such energy in Wilmington for entrepreneurship and technical innovation and the whole start up industry has really taken root here."

Organizers say film and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand.

"Filmmakers are themselves such wonderful entrepreneurs.  Every new film is a new business, basically. There is also the truth that every new business needs film. You expect to have a Youtube, you expect to have a video on your website, Vine is an essential social platform, so video and film are really an essential part of any successful entrepreneur enterprise," said Herring. "There is a natural coming together between these too."

The Cucalorus Connect Conference will include keynotes speakers, panel discussions, and Port City Pitch, where new companies can present their ideas and start-up aspirations. These discussions will be taking place alongside the film screenings and will incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship across many industries from tech to textiles and brewing. There are 50 programs in all.

Connect speakers include:

  • Joan Siefert Rose, The President/CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development
  • Galen Buckwalter, the Chief Science Officer for eHarmony
  • Chris Heivly, a founder of MapQuest
  • Dan Tynan, editor in chief for Yahoo Tech

Organizers hope that filmmakers and business leaders will have the opportunity to network and possibly work together in the future.

"This is a really important opportunity for us to introduce our film talent to the business community, and the business community, likewise, to recognize what incredible talent we have here in Wilmington," said Herring. "There is even going to be a Cooperate Video Shorts block where we are providing an opportunity for that branded content, that marketing content, to be presented. Specifically, to offer entrepreneurs and filmmakers the opportunity to see, this is the good work we can produce here on a cooperate scale." said Herring.

"It doesn't matter what you sell, socks insurance, you are going to need some video content on your website, the most talented filmmakers are on the screen at Cucalorus come out meet them," said Dan Brawley, the Cucalorus Film Festival Director. He said at the same time, filmmakers will have the opportunity to learn about the business side of things so they can further their career.

Cucalorus partnered with UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, tekMountain and the City of Wilmington, for the connect conference.

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