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17th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival kicks off

READ MORE: 17th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival kicks off
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- The annual Cucalorus Film Festival brings some of the world's most creative artists to the Port City. The festival is in its 17th year and this years event will screen 147 films from 22 different countries.

As excited as Wilmington is to host the event, WWAY found out that many filmmakers are just as excited to be here.

"This is the greatest festival on the planet. I came all the way from New Orleans in a car, 15 hours to come to this," said director Barrett Delong.

Delong studied film at Cape Fear Community College and UNCW. He says this is the kind of homecoming he has always hoped for.

"It was a dream of mine from the first day I ever stepped foot in Cucalorus to have a film here, yet alone two," said Delong.

Other directors spent the night at Thalian Hall observing more art after their big screenings.

"We screened this morning at 10:45 and it was great," said Mike Mohan, another film director. "It was over at Jengo's Playhouse and it was a packed audience, and had a great Q and A. This festival has a really awesome vibe to it."

Festival coordinators say the 4 day event is a unique opportunity for the artist and audience to share with each other. Many directors want to use this experience to grow towards future goals, but bottom line, they just want to entertain.

"As far as the people there, I want them to laugh and enjoy themselves and in my future I would like to make a feature film that would play in theaters," said director Levi Abrino.

This celebration of film features around 50 documentaries and roughly 100 short films.

"Cucalorus is not just a big deal in Wilmington, Cucalorus is a big deal across the whole United States," said Delong. "If you are an independent film maker, you need to be at Cucalorus."

Films are played at Jengo's Playhouse, Thalian Hall and City Stage in downtown Wilmington. Films start at 10 a.m.

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