New venues highlight 24th edition of Cucalorus film festival


By Anthony Martinez and Keaton Smith
Cucalorus 24 returns for its 24th year with the same old feel but some new features as well as some slight shifts in venues. This year the filmmakers lounge and Ticketbox will be relocating to the CFCC’s Union Station building at 502 N Front Street. The change in location is primarily to accommodate the growing base of Cucalorus attendees, as Dan states in his blog, “Cucalorus is growing and some of our critical functions needed a bigger pair of pants.” This move has allowed the event to start a new ticketing system, which they hope “will make the box office experience much easier for everyone.”
The change of venue will also be introducing a new filmmakers lounge experience, offering healthy mornings and raucous nights at the newly dubbed “Pegasorus Lounge.” As Dan Brawley puts it in his blog, “each morning you can roll in early for a cup of coffee, a smoothie or even a chair massage and some yoga. And then as the day moves on, you’ll slowly see our cocktail bar take over the kombucha station for an after-evening of spirits and Edward Teach brews.” The Pegasorus Lounge will still have Cucalorus signature Cuctails, so visitors are encouraged to buy a Peg Pass online for free drinks every day of the event from 2 to 11pm.
Another addition of venue will include the Visual/Sound/Walls lounge located at Whiskey Tango Foxtrot at 111 Grace Street – right between Union Station and Thalian Hall.
The Visual/Sound/Walls lounge will be “the heart” of the Cucalorus Stage Festival where anyone can drop by during the day for a Cuctail and stay all night for a fringe-style showcase of experimental theatre, comedy, dance, and music from real good bands. The new venue will still showcase the year’s best music videos which will be playing all day long on several screens, so visitors can drop in and immerse themselves at any time at the Visual/Sound/Walls lounge.
Many of the changes this year are a result of attendants’ feedback in an effort to make Cucalorus easier to navigate. Every narrative feature and every shorts block will play twice, making it easier to see all the films you’ve been reading about. And with their new hub on Front Street, attendants will be just a bit closer to Wilmington’s restaurant and bar scene.
Here are a few of the events scheduled for this year’s Cucalorus:

  • SAS Brand Director and documentarian, Susan Ellis, is going to hold a keynote speech called “Speaking the Same Language: Connecting with Technology Brands Today” at the Connect Theatre on the fifth floor of the CFCC Union Station building on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. Ellis will speak about how using languages that unite technology and people can increase success for any brand.
  • Rhiannon Giddens, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and John Jeremiah Sullivan, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, will show their research on the 120th anniversary of the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. at Thalian Hall. Giddens is going to perform songs she wrote that are inspired by the 1898 riot. Following the performance, Giddens and Sullivan will lead a walk from Thalian Hall to the 1898 memorial on North 3rd Street for a sunset vigil. A “documentary portrait” will screen that morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Cameron Art Museum. Giddens will take questions following the film.
  • Comedian Ikechukwu Ufomadu will perform his show at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday where the host “deftly slips in and out of personas, impressions, voices, songs, sketches, games, and interviews; a wry approach to the business of showing.” The event will be held at the V/S/W Lounge.
  • An Opera House Production of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde will be held at 8 p.m. at Thalian Hall on Saturday, Nov. 10. Wilmington Theatre Award winner Anna Stromberg will return with her co-star, Burt Grinstead, to present this rendition of the original novella.

For help navigating the festival layout this year, visit, call the Ticketbox at 343-5995, or drop by Jengo’s Playhouse for more information.

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