The 23rd annual Cucalorus Festival is this weekend in Wilmington, with more than 180 events showcasing filmmakers, performers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. A full listing of all the event dates, times and venues can be found at www.cucalorus.org.
The five-day festival opens with Dance-a-lorus, a smashing combo of dance and film on the main stage at Historic Thalian Hall. The multimedia performance features work by local choreographers like Anne Firmender alongside New York-based artists like Lucy Kerr and Zoe Rabinowitz. Dance-alorus is the centerpiece for the festival’s newest program – the Cucalorus Stage Experience. Headlining the new program’s theatre lineup is Joe Sellman Leava’s “Labels,” a funny, moving story from multicultural Britain. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels at Saturday’s performance at the North Front Theatre.
Cucalorus is proud to announce the world premiere of Canadian filmmakers Hannah Cheesman and Mackenzie Donaldson’s “The Definites.” The festival has built strong ties to Canada with a curated shorts block from Lisa Haller, programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, and several Canadian Stage shows. Canadian filmmakers like Ingrid Veninger, whose film “Porcupine Lake” screens on Saturday at Thalian, have pioneered Cucalorus’ effort to establish equal representation at the festival for women. Cucalorus once again boasts a lineup where 50% of all films are directed or produced by women. According to programming manager Rachel Taylor, “This is a key factor in achieving the culture of inclusion and equity so important to Cucalorus, and given recent news, it’s more important than ever that we celebrate women as equals in the industry.”
The Cucalorus Connect Conference enters its third year with a bolstered program and a new, centralized venue as all keynotes and breakouts will take place at Windell Daniels Hall on the fifth floor of Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station building.
“Connect is fully cooked. We knew it would take three years to lay the groundwork, and now with Tom Looney’s leadership and our focus on the Connected Digital Economy, the conference is poised to have its true debut this year. Connect really has the potential to shape our region’s economic identity by focusing on traded-sector, technology-driven innovation,” said Cucalorus Chief Instigating Officer Dan Brawley.
Among the new additions to Connect, Cucalorus will be recognizing the inaugural class of its Emergent Leadership Fellows: leaders who have earned their influence and power by building respect among their peers. This year’s class of inductees includes: Dr. Stephen Harper, Susi Hamilton, Travis Corpening, Rob Kaiser, Brett Martin, and Scott Moody. All festival attendees will converge on Friday at the Bellamy Mansion Museum for the first ever Cucalorus Oyster Party, showcasing regional shellfish growers and spirits from NC Distilleries.
Visit www.cucalorus.org to see the full schedule, sign up for our newsletter, and buy individual event tickets.