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Cucalorus Kickstarter Fund-raiser
Needed: $17K
End date: 10/20

ON THE ICE took Best Feature at the Beriln Film Festival and will show at Cucalorus 17. Locals Chad Keith and Jonathan Guggenheim were part of the production design team in 2010. Courtesy photo.

Since its inception in 1994, our local darling of an independent film festival, Cucalorus, has been screening documentaries, local and international features, music videos, shorts and more to a wide array of fans. Recognized in 2009 as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine and as one of the Brooks Institutes “Top 10 Film Festivals,” Cucalorus is not only vital to Wilmington’s film scene but a bloodline to the the independent film industry across the world.

Held every November, the festival brings people together and has a positive effect on the creative nature of our fair port city. “By bringing international media attention to [the local film industry], it reinforces our role as an important production location,” Dan Brawley, media collaborator and Cucalorus curator, states. “It acts as a catalyst for film activity.”

This year’s 17th annual event will be held from November 10th through 13th, with a total of 120 international and independent screenings to an audience of 10,000 or more. In addition to providing a fix for local cinephiles, there will be over 200 filmmakers and artists joining the streets of our city—dancers, musicians, spoken word poets, comedians and at least one mime. “What festival is complete without a mime?” Cucalorians ask.

To make the magic happen, the folks organizing the festival need to raise $17,000 in a final push of fundage to ensure the event gets underway. After running a successful local campaign, gaining support from 75 businesses, the team had raised $3,327 as of press time. They’re working under a tight deadline, too: Thursday, October 20th at 10:11 a.m. EST. If they don’t raise all funds by then, they get nothing per Kickstarter’s rules. “We’re left with a big hole in the budget,” Brawley says. The money raised will be for “nothing too sexy, really,” he jokes. Although, anyone who’s attended Cucalorus could argue everything about it is sex-a-licious. Cucalorians need to continue fixing “the nuts and bolts of putting on the festival.” Some monies will go toward food for the staff, others to help with projection equipment needed to screen the films in high quality. Without the necessary funds, the team is in limbo on the adjustment of the annual event. “It would be a pretty big impact on the festival,” Brawley notes, “and its continued service to artists and the community.”

In addition to supporting local and international artists, Cucalorus brings a boost to our local economy. People descend upon our hotels, restaurants, retail stores and the like for three days. “People attend from 78 different cities,” according to Brawley. “They’re dropping some serious dollars.”

Becoming a backer for Cucalorus has its perks—most importantly maintaining Wilmington’s most creative festival for years to come. Patrons can donate money on the Cucalrous Kickstarter and receive rewards, such as one’s name listed on the Cucalorus website membership page for a $10 donation. Sixty Benjamins gets someone a ticket to the midnite brunch, a copy of the tribute DVD, and his or her name listed in the Cucalorus festival magazine and on the website membership page. The ballers who wish to throw down big bucks, such as $2,000, will get four Pegasorus passes (all access), and their name listed in Cucalorus festival magazine and on the website membership page. Options exist for various backing levels ($20, $120, $500 and and up) and are handled through “a simple checkout process through Amazon,” Brawley says. If the Cucalorians don’t make their goal, the backers’ credit cards will not be charged.

Of course, purchasing tickets and passes to the event is another option to secure the continuation of the festival. “Cucalorus is a real bargain,” Brawley states forthright, mainly because participants can “get four full days of entertainment for as little as $40.” They can choose their pass level and accessibility, spanning $75, $150 or $400, as well. Single tickets for the festival will be available for purchase soon.

Cucalorus has provided an artistic outlet for local artists, as well as international acclaim for a sleepy town bountiful with film happenings. In essence, the festival provides more substance than the pre-formulated romantic comedy—although, they show those addictive indie rom-coms, too. Essentially, Cucalorus injects our city with a lovely spurt of manic creative energy and camaraderie. It has helped put Wilmington on the map as a venue for artists and innovative people. “It’s a special privilege to be part of such a passionate and progressive grassroots movement, “Brawley says. “It’s also freakin fun!”

As the website states under the 17th year highlights, “You Decide” the future of this landscape-changing film soirée. The Cucalorus team has faith that the goal will be reached—why let them down?

A few early selections for the 2011 festival were just released last week. Slated among the 100-plus films to be shown are:
Narrative Features: “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “King of Devil’s Island (Kongen av Bastøy),” “On The Ice,” “The Wise Kids,” “Happy ,Happy (Sykt Lykkelig)”

Documentaries: “Certain Proof,” “Kumaré,” “Defining Beauty: Ms. Wheelchair America,” “Semper Fi: Always Faithful”

Shorts: “Uncle Pepe’s Birthday Party,” “Invasion vom Planeten Schrump,” “Small Things,” “One Night in Kernersville,” “I’m Coming Over,” “Fresh Skweezed,” “A New Life,” “Vollis Shop Road,” “Retrograde Premonition,” “Guard Global Dog Jam!,” “Once it Started it Could Not End Otherwise”
Music Videos: Fractal Farm’s “Bloodless”

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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