Many people gather to enjoy the last day of the 27th annual Cucalorus Film Festival

Cucalorus Last Day
27th annual Cucalorus Film Festival (Photo: WWAY)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WWAY) —The 27th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday, where filmmakers from around the country showcased their original films.

More than 90 films were presented over the course of the 5-day long Cucalorus Festival at Thalian Hall, Jengo’s Playhouse, and Hi-Wire Brewing. The theme of this year’s festival was “Circus of the Weird.”

Randall Dottin is co-writer, co-director and producer of “Mine”, an animated short film that is pilot for a larger series, part of a project currently in the works called Rise Home Stories. Dottin traveled from New York to participate in the film festival, saying his experience at previous Cucalorus festivals is what keeps him coming back.

“The festival is welcoming; they have such a great pulse on the great kind of work that’s being made all over the world. It’s a very diverse festival. This film festival also really like explores and deals with and promotes social justice,” said Randall Dottin, “Mine” co-writer, co-director and producer.

Ezra Edmond also traveled from out of state, from California, to show his animated film “Blewish” based on his experience growing up Black and Jewish. Edmond said film festivals, like Cucalorus, are necessary for independent filmmakers.

“I think it’s important. It’s so nice to be able to see people’s work and also talk to them and meet them, and learn about what they’re putting in and seeing people be excited about having their art our, and you know when you watch a movie in a theater or streaming, or anything like that, you don’t have the people who worked on it around you, and it feels so much nicer to all celebrate everybody’s stuff together,” Ezra Edmond, writer of “Blewish”.

The film festival’s managing director, Rachel Taylor, said they were glad to return to in-person screenings, after holding online screenings and drive-ins last year due to the pandemic.

“To be back in person and to hear people clapping, and to see their films not on a small computer screen, I think has just been so powerful, and to really be able to experience audience emotion, and audience response and questions and create true community again,” said Rachel Taylor, Cucalorus managing director.

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