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While Cucalorus mainly exists to celebrate independent films and the masterminds behind them, the festival also provides a rare platform for the power of visual expression. The schedule hosts an array of discussions, dance parties, kid-friendly events and workshops. All events are separately priced, and tickets can be bought online at cucalorus.org or at their Tticket Box location at 201 Princess Street.

­–­Thursday, November 11–­
Cucalorus Kickoff Party, featuring Bug-a-lorus Art Show, live music and Nutweevil Shorts • $10
Come to the Soapbox for the encore-sponsored kickoff party featuring the Bug-a-lorus Art Show and a reel of innovative music videos from around the world. The Artbox hosts the bug-themed exhibit on the third floors, as well as performances by Noseriders, Italian radio artist Stefano Giannotti and The Rapping Cowboy from the documentary “Roll Out, Cowboy” (see page 21) doors open around 7 p.m. Nutweevil Shorts start at 9 p.m.

State of the State: The Future of NC Film • Free
Join the leaders of the North Carolina film industry as they explore issues (specifically technology, incentives and new media) pertaining to the future of film in North Carolina, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the Thalian Hall ballroom. Members of the North Carolina film community, such as representative Danny McComas, EUE Screen Gems VP Bill Vassar, Wilmington Regional Film Commissioner Johnny Griffin, North Carolina Film Office Director Aaron Syrett (moderator) and others will be present to shed light on ongoing and new issues.

DANCE-A-LORUS: To kick off the Cucalorus Film Festival on Thursday, the art of movement, cinema and music conjoin to create a magnificent foray into all arts. Thalian Hall, 7:45 p.m. Tickets $15.

Dance-a-Lorus • $15
The Dance Cooperative does Cucalorus, showcasing art in motion. It’s one of the major gatherings of Cucalorus, featuring an elaborate collection of choreographers, filmmakers and dancers from the nonprofit group, The Dance Cooperative. Dance is celebrated at the festival as another main form of visual art. Come make memories out of movement at 7:15 p.m. on the main stage of Thalian Hall.

­–Friday, November 12–­
The Audible Picture Show • $10
This international collection of over 100 audio works created especially for the screen was curated by Scottish filmmaker Matt Hulse. Billed by the festival as “a nice break for the eyes,” the presentation will debut new works by Grant Stewart and a few other industry guests. A Q&A session with Hulse, Stewart and others will immediately follow the show, which takes place at Thalian Hall Black Box, 1:45 p.m.

The Blue Velvet Tour • Friday and Saturday tours available • $10
David Lynch’s cult classic was shot in Wilmington and went on to make movie history as it exposed small-town freakery in a shocking scandal. Tour the film’s most famous locations, as guides Ben Fancy and Mike Hewitt lead the way into Lynch’s warped world of film noir. The tour has a capacity of 12 participants so sign up ASAP. The walk begins at the Ticket Box on Princess Street at 10 a.m.

Pegasorus Luncheon • $100
All Cucalorus filmmakers, sponsors or Pegasorus passholders will enjoy the delicacies at downtown’s Press 102, located at the corner of Dock and 2nd streets. Chef Zachary Grant will be crafting specialty food (yes, including bugs) and beverages! The noshing begins at 11:30 a.m.

Visual Soundwalls Party/Nutweevil Shorts • $10
Nutweevil Shorts will reprise their screening from Thursday night’s kick-off party. The music video masterpieces screen at The Front Street Brewery, with John Elliot Gray curating the multimedia feast. It features multiple LCD screens and projectors, surround-sound systems and Blu-Ray formats. The technicolor masquearde begins at 7:30 p.m.

Kodak: Stop By Shoot Film Workshop • Friday and Saturday workshops • Free
Cucalorus is about education, too, as proven from their numerous workshops taking place throughout the weekend. Of the ilk: learning to use a 16mm camera from a top guest cinematographer at Screen Gems Studios. In less than two hours, attendees will shoot their own scene and learn their way around a film reel. A DVD of their footage is sent to them afterward. Free of charge, Kodak presents the class twice at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Digieffects: Visual Effects Workshop • Free
The Wilmington-based software development company Digieffects is hosting a workshop with experts Robert Sharp and Mark Christiansen. Folks will learn the ropes of special effects under the guidance of this 15-year-old Port City industry veteran. Class begins at 12:30 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios.

Underwater Camera Workshop • Free
Wilmington native Ren Chapman and marine-life photographer Ryan McInnis are ready to show filmmakers how to make a splash under the sea. Attendants learn about underwater filming as Chapman and McInnis discuss camera choices, editing techniques, image composition and safety. The one-hour class is at Screen Gems Studios and starts at 3:30 p.m.

Legal Tool Kit Workshop • Free
It’s not exactly what comes to mind when one hears that proverbial phrase: “There’s no business like show business!” But understanding legal and copyright issues are crucial to successful filmmaking. At 5 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios, Thom Goolsby, a seasoned attorney and professor of entertainment law, as well as newly elected NC Senator, will be on hand to answer all questions about film legalities. Topics like contract navigation, copyright laws and protection will all be covered in this important discussion.

­–Saturday, November 13–­

KIDS-A-LORUS: Be sure to let the kids in on all the fun, too, at Children's Museum of Wilmington on Saturday, 10 a.m. Tickets, $10.

Kids-a-lorus • $10
Cucalorus wouldn’t exist without carrying on the tradition of including the kids! Kids-a-lorus is an annual family-friendly event held at the Wilmington Children’s Museum every year. This year it will screen eight short films both made by and for kids. The half-day event hosts a choice of hands-on activities to choose from, including head-shot sessions, live music and some sculpture workshops. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

How Does It Sound Workshop • Free
Cucalorus is screening two films this year by film audio engineer and UNCW Film Studies faculty member Alex Markowski. Starting 12:30 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios, he will be on hand to discuss sound techniques for his projects, “Regular Kids,” and the documentary “Things Grow.” People will learn the tricks of sound design from an expert with over 25 years of experience!

Cape Fear Community College: Cameras and Cranes Workshop • Free
Port City’s own community college will be hosting a two-part workshop for anyone interested in the dynamics of working an on-set camera crane. The class, operated in conjunction with Wilmington Dollys and Cranes and Cine Partners, will give hands-on instruction while shooting a scene with an acting student. Duke Fire, head of CFCC’s Film and Video Department, will be showing participants how to place footage with Final Cut Pro. Be part of the “action!” beginning 3:30 p.m. at Screen Gems Studios.

Dance and Film Panel:
Dance-a-lorus Dialogue • Free
Love the concept of mixing art forms? Come be a part of the conversation as festival organizers talk logistics and creative strategies. Both Cucalorus filmmakers and Dance-a-lorus choreographers will be participating in this informal discussion on cross-media collaborations, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Ticket Box on Princess Street.

Midnite Brunch: Dixie Grill • $40
Sitting through gazillions of films can certainly make for a hearty appetite. Give into the comfort of Southern cuisine and join Cucalorus for a late-night snacky party. Raleigh-based band Kennebec will play at downtown’s Dixie Grill. The munchies begin at 9 p.m.

­–Sunday, November 14–­
Irrational Reactions: The Animated Worlds of John Dilworth • $10
Anyone who has seen “Courage the Cowardly Dog” on Cartoon Network has probably wondered what kind of sick genius dreamed up those jokes. Academy Award-nominated John Dilworth is here to answer that question, along with many others, at the screening of his award-winning films. On the schedule is his cult-followed cartoon “The Dirdy Birdy,” some live music and a few surprise guests. Get to know Dilworth and his creative process at the Thalian Hall Black Box beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Survival Kit for Artists Workshop • Free
Any question an artist ever wanted to ask but was afraid of looking too business-like will be answered at Fractured Atlas’ workshop. The Atlas is a nonprofit organization directed at educating the art community about insurance, funding and other infrastructure issues. Emily Watts, program director of Liability Insurance, will discuss making insurance work for the creative class and educating artists about strengthening their communities. The seminar begins at noon at the Ticket Box, downtown on Princess Street.

Make Films, Make Change: An RSC Learning Exchange Workshop • Free
All social activists that are considering film to get out their messages should attend this seminar with Alternate Roots’ Resources for Social Change Program. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Ticket Box, Ebony Golden and Hope Clark are hosting a two-hour discussion that shows how film can be used to instigate change in society. Three documentaries being screened in this year’s festival will be used as learning examples as dialogue rolls toward social solutions.

Meltdown with Dr. Madd Vibe • $10
Finishing out the festival with a non-stop throwdown at the Soapbox Laundro Lounge will end five days of cinematic bliss rather memorably. Join Fishbone’s Angelo Moore (who also has a film in the festival, “Everyday Sunshine,” page 16) and his Mr. Hyde alter ego, Dr. Madd Vibe, for a romp of music. Don’t miss opening act Fractal Farm who takes the stage at 8 p.m. Wiggle the last of Cucalorus fever out of your system—well, until next year, anyway!

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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, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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