28th annual Cucalorus Film Festival begins, invites travelers to explore local area

The Cucalorus Film Festival plans to bring in thousands and boost revenue for local businesses.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 7:31 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Cucalorus Film Festival has returned for its 28th year in Wilmington.

The festival will showcase 136 independent and international films, along with performances and special conversations. Over 200 artists will attend, and films will be screened at Thalian Hall, the UNCW campus and Jengo’s Playhouse.

The festival isn’t just about showing films, the connections made between people who traveled from all over the world to be here in Wilmington is also a key component.

Cucalorus brings in filmmakers from all over the world by paying for their flights and hotel rooms. They encourage people to eat at local restaurants and enjoy a five-day, local excursion in Wilmington.

Some people originally plan for a five-day vacation but permanently extend that trip, moving and working here in what’s known as East Hollywood.

Rachel Taylor, the Cucalorus managing director, explained how local restaurants and shops will likely see a large revenue spike during the festival. Typically, Cucalorus doubles the number of customers that walk through the doors on a normal day.

“Local business owners will definitely notice a good boost over the next week. But in addition to that, we also have filmmakers and artists who are coming in from major film hubs, and they’re discovering that Wilmington is an incredible film location and an incredible place to work, but also a great place to live,” said Taylor.

Taylor says that tending the festival is a special occasion for most because of the energy that is created by people watching films together in a theatre and engaging in conversation after.

“There’s nothing like it,” Taylor said.

Celebrating the creativity of these artists is the main reason to come out and support the filmmakers who are making a name for themselves. Festivals like this are where it all begins for many artists.

You can find tickets for individual screenings and performances here and multi-screening passes here.