With more than 1,000 entries from 35 different countries, Cucalorus brought together a colorful mix of global and local filmmakers. Organizers say Cucalorus offered people a chance to create life-long relationships in an environment not tainted by competition. "But here at Cucalorus it's really about sharing stories and getting to know each other. Well you know, Cucalorus from the very beginning has been non-competitive. We truly believe that when you take away the tension and that sort of energy that goes along with giving out awards, that something very special happens,” said organizer Dan Brawley. "It might not be competitive, but I think it's more competitive to get into then maybe the Charlotte Film Festival or other festivals,” said Mike Kennedy, director of Keeping Up with the Jetsons. The sold out showing of Port City, the closing-night feature, had a line for rush tickets circling the hallway. The majority of the crew for Port City was from, well, the Port City, but the cast was made up of actors from Wilmington and the west coast. “We had Jodi Sweetin and she is from L.A. and John Wesley Shipp who lives in L.A. even though he shot Dawson's Creek here,” said director Andy Brown. Each year the festival gets more recognition, with bigger names attached to each project. This year the festival did include a film with whispers of Oscars all over it; that's not far-fetched. Through the years, Cucalorus has screened four Oscar winning films. Not bad for a festival that began in 1995 with the screening of just sixteen films in a restaurant along the Cape Fear.
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