The 23rd annual Cucalorus Film Festival takes place November 8-12, 2017 in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. The non-competitive festival showcases more than 300 films from all over the world and attracts an accumulated audience of 17,800 cultural travelers who come to celebrate the art-form and connect with peers. The festival's spirited celebration has been recognized as a breeding ground for young artists, new ideas and future collaborations.

Festival programs focus on dance, music videos, emerging artists, social justice, works-in-progress, and international cinema. Voted "One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World" (MovieMaker Magazine 2013, 2014, 2015), Cucalorus creates an opportunity for intimate engagement between audience and artist through the festival’s retreat-like atmosphere, resulting in friendships that extend far beyond the festival’s 5-day celebration.

Awards & Prizes

Unlike many film festivals, Cucalorus does not give out awards, preferring instead to foster and support the growth of independent film in a non-competitive environment. At Cucalorus, we focus on breaking down artificial boundaries in order to strengthen the connection between artist and audience.

“Bold, insightful programming, a laid-back rock and roll atmosphere and gorgeous seaside locale no doubt contribute to the ‘summer camp for filmmakers’ vibe, making Cucalorus the best kept secret on the indie fest circuit.” - MovieMaker Magazine

Rules & Terms

Entries to Cucalorus are accepted on a year-round basis. Cucalorus accepts films from all genres by filmmakers of all backgrounds. If you make it, we'll take it.


1. Completed entry form for each submission via FilmFreeway (screener links only, NO DVD's)

2. The applicable entry fee paid via FilmFreeway.

3. Send us a late night bathroom selfie. (**disclaimer** - we may post this on social media!!) Yes, we're serious. Have fun with it!


Please send all packages, checks, toys, baby goats, receipts and films to:

Cucalorus Submissions
Jengo's Playhouse
815 Princess Street
Wilmington, NC 28401

Exceptions, Payments and Refunds

There are no exceptions to these deadlines or fees, except when we make exceptions!
Please make all fees payable to Cucalorus.
Entry fees are non-refundable.
There are no entry fees for residents of the City of Wilmington.
Bribes are welcomed and encouraged.
Cucalorus endorses reckless behavior, generally.

8 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Stephen Featherstone

    Enlightened, respectful, celebratory. Quirky, eccentric, unique. Cucalorus is a special festival. The level of generosity and hospitality they exhibit is outstanding and astounding. To be chosen to screen a film here is to join a warm and welcoming community within the charming community of Wilmington. I can't recommend it too highly.

    November 2017
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    Liam Hall

    I have screened a couple shorts here over the past few years and have been consistently amazed by the intense creative energy and warm, welcoming environment that Cucalorus provides for filmmakers. From the unique programming, to the eccentric events and community, Cucalorus just feels different from other festivals in the best possible way.

    October 2017
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    Mtume Gant

    One of the best fest experiences you can have. Great films, good people, none of the pretentious fluff you find at other festivals, it feels like you are entering a community you always want to be a part of.

    April 2017
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    Evan Kidd

    This is the festival to beat. I played the 2016 festival with my first feature film "Son of Clowns". I've known of the festival for quite some time, even attending as a guest in years prior, but going as a filmmaker was a next level positive experience for us. Cucalorus goes above and beyond to make every filmmaker feel welcome and accommodated. Anything you need is a phone call away, and the level of fun & networking you will have at the festival is tremendous. If you ever run out of reasons to make films, do it to return to the magical & amazing land that is Cucalorus in Wilmington, NC okay?

    January 2017
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    Blackmagic Rollercoaster

    Total blast! Had a great time as a filmmaker and a fan. Definitely will submit again.

    December 2016