Cucalorus Film Festival returns with in-person festival this year

Proof of vaccination is required
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Cucalorus Film Festival returns this week to showcase more than 90 films from all over the world.

The festival, which was virtual last year due to the pandemic, will be in person. However, visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination.

“The filmmakers and folks here in Wilmington are so excited to be back together and to be able to watch movies together and talk,” said Dan Brawley, who organizes the festival. “It feels like it’s been five years. It hasn’t been that long but I think we are all so eager for that healing energy that you feel when you’re together with other people telling stories and sharing time together.”

Brawley said returning film festival fans will notice changes at one of the main venues, Jengo’s Playhouse. Following the 2019 festival, Brawley said work began to renovate the venue.

“We ended up having a lot more time than we originally planned so we’ve done more than we planned to,” he said. “Like a lot of venues all over the country, we took the opportunity to make some improvements to our home base on Princess, so I’m really excited to kind of show off the new Jengo’s Playhouse.”

Brawley said the festival will be familiar in some ways and different in other ways.

“We will all be back at Thalian Hall on the main stage and in the studio theater and people can walk from Jengo’s to Thalian Hall like they’ve done for almost 20 years now,” he said. “One of the other new things I’m excited about is we will have five nights of free music just two blocks from Jengo’s at the new Hi-Wire Brewing.”

To see the festival schedule, click here.

The festival made a commitment several years ago to being more inclusive.

“That has been important to us for a long time but I think even more important over the last two years,” he said. “We made a commitment to having at least half of the films in the festival directed by female filmmakers five or six years ago and then last year we made the commitment for filmmakers of color.”

He said that continues to be a focus of the festival.

“This is something that we’re still working on,” Brawley said. “It’s not something that is like a light switch, you don’t just turn the light switch on or off and then you have solved it. It will take us years in years to unravel all the practices we have that we weren’t even aware of that were making it harder for either film female filmmakers or Black filmmakers or American Indian filmmakers.”

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