Category Archives: Entertainment

Cucalorus Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years with 240+ Screenings & Dino De Laurentiis Retrospective

Twenty years ago, as Wilmington, North Carolina was establishing itself as a top U.S. filmmaking destination, a group of local independent filmmakers, known as Twinkle Doon, held a standing-room-only one-night screening of locally-made indie films. Dubbed as “An Evening of Celluloid Art: a film festival for open minds,” attendees at the inaugural festival included local indie filmmakers, artists, Wilmington residents and up-and-coming actors Anthony LaPaglia, Renee’ Zellweger and Liv Tyler—who were in Wilmington making Empire Records, one of hundreds of productions made in Wilmington over the past three decades. Wilmington’s film industry continued to thrive for the next 20 years and so did the Cucalorus Film Festival, which celebrates 20 years on November 12-16.

Each year since 1994 film buffs and independent filmmakers have made the mid-November pilgrimage to Wilmington, North Carolina for the Cucalorus Film Festival. On November 12-16, the 20th Annual Cucalorus Film Festival will celebrate the art of filmmaking with screenings of more than 240 independent films from around the world, workshops, panel discussions, master dance classes, and special events.  What began as a one-night event has evolved into a five-day festival that’s garnered national recognition from the Brooks Institute, as well as Moviemakerand Time magazines. It was proclaimed as “one of the coolest film festivals in the world” by MovieMaker in 2013. This year the festival makes a repeat appearance on the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events list for November.

Cucalorus always delivers a diverse mix of documentary and narrative feature films, shorts, dance and music videos, and special events that make it a favorite with filmmakers and audiences. Of the 240-plus films (chosen from 1,752 submissions) from over 60 countries, the festival will include 43 narrative features, 21 documentary features, 147 shorts, 45 music videos and seven works-in-progress along with a schedule that includes multi-disciplinary performances ranging from dance to spoken word and beyond. Guest filmmakers will share insights during Q&A sessions at select screenings.

This year two features will have their world premiere at Cucalorus (Uncensored and Times Like Dying) and six films will have their Southern or Southeastern U.S. premiere (Labyrinthus; Hide and Seek; Felix and Meira; Spring; The Tribe; The Age of Love). Other award-winning and noteworthy films include: Force Majeure  (directed by Ruben Ostlund, Sweden’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film for Oscars 2014; winner of Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2014); Wildlike (recently premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival); and The Hip-Hop Fellow (documentary by Raleigh filmmaker Kenneth Price about a Grammy award-winning producer’s studies of hip-hop).

Each year Cucalorus pays tribute to its North Carolina roots by screening at least 25 percent of films with connections to its home state. This year showcases four feature-length films and one work-in-progress (“Coal Ash Chronicles” by Rhiannon Fionn) that were made in North Carolina. N.C. Narrative Features include: “Children of Salt” by Caleb Andrew Ward and “Sunset Edge” by Daniel Peddle. N.C. Documentary Features include: “The Hip Hop Fellow” by Kenneth Price and “Private Violence” by Cynthia Hill.  For details about each film, visit

Additionally, 48 short films and 14 music videos with Carolina ties will screen at Cucalorus 20, including films from Cucalorus alums, such as the world premiere of Wilmington filmmaker Jonathan Landau’s short “Pushing Buttons” (crewed by founding members Bo Webb, Craig Rogers and Dan Turek) which will screen in the Shorties block. And Wilmington-turned-L.A. filmmaker Norwood Cheek’s music video “Dog Day Joyride” will screen in the Visual/Sound/Walls block. Two features produced by Dino and Martha De Laurentiis and filmed in N.C. will also be showcased: “Crimes of the Heart” (1986, filmed in Southport) and “Hannibal” (2001, filmed in Asheville).

To commemorate the festival’s 20th anniversary, Cucalorus will honor the late maverick filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis—recognized as the “father of North Carolina’s film industry”—with a retrospective of his work. The Dino De Laurentiis Retrospective pays tribute to his lasting legacy on the state’s film culture. This survey of the legendary Italian producer’s work spans nearly eight decades and includes screenings of War & Peace, King Kong, Flash Gordon, Crimes of the Heart and Hannibal. Martha De Laurentiis, Dino’s wife and producing partner will make a special guest appearance following the screening of Crimes of the Heart.

This year’s festival kicks off on Wednesday, November 12, with the ever-popular Dance-a-lorus, a unique partnership between Cucalorus, the Dance Cooperative, and New York-based Dance Films Association.  The event features excerpts from nine different choreographers and filmmakers in a variety of genres.

Screenings will take place at the following Downtown Wilmington venues: Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts (central Ticketbox & theatre, 310 Chestnut St.); Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess St.); City Stage Theatre (21 N. Front St., 5th floor); TheatreNOW (19 South 10th St.); Bourgie Nights (208 Market St.); and Bellamy Mansion (503 Market St.). For tickets, schedules, film descriptions, venue directions and other details, visit

Festival-goers often wonder how the Cucalorus Film Festival got its name. The dictionary defines cucalorus as “a film set apparatus placed in front of a light source to create a dappled lighting effect on a subject or background.” However, in the world of film festivals, Cucalorus is a multi-disciplinary arts organization supporting emerging and innovative creative professionals through its annual film festival, a residency program, a summer camp for teen filmmakers, a microcinema and an extensive community outreach program.

The annual Cucalorus Film Festival was established in 1994 and has since grown into one of the largest film festivals in the South. More than 200 films screen each year at venues all over downtown Wilmington, attracting a large number of participating artists (300+) and thousands of fans and industry professionals (accumulated attendance in 2013 was 14,784). Festival programs focus on dance, music videos, emerging artists. social justice, works-in-progress, and international cinema. Cucalorus education and outreach programs include Global Perspectives, Works-in-Progress, Latino Lens, Media Literacy, and Racial Rewind. Cucalorus is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on funds from individuals, businesses, and grants to fund its annual celebration. For more information on the Cucalorus Film Festival visit

Wilmington, North Carolina—home to the Cucalorus Film Festival and EUE/Screen Gems Studios—is a top location for U.S. film production.  Recent productions include “Max Steel,” “Tammy,” “The Conjuring,” “Iron Man 3” and the hit television series “Sleepy Hollow” and “Under the Dome,” as well as the upcoming new ABC series “Secrets & Lies” and Nicholas Sparks films “The Choice” and “The Longest Ride.”

Visitors can experience “Hollywood East” with Hollywood Location walking tours of downtown movie locations, weekend tours of EUE/Screen Gems Studios, and self-guided location tours using television FAQ sheets for “Sleepy Hollow,” “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill.” For links to FAQ Sheets, tours and more TV/film-related information, visit

Long Bay Symphony Season Highlights

The Long Bay Symphony begins its 27th season – Great Masterpieces, Masterfully Performed – on Sunday, September 28th with one of the epic masterpieces of all times, Beethoven’s Ninth, which is a pivotal work in music history that exploded the technical and emotional boundaries of the classical symphony. Chorus and soloists present Friedrich Schiller’s poem “Ode to Joy” which is an expression of Beethoven’s own faith in universal brotherhood.

The Classical Series continues with an exciting variety of concerts from across the musical spectrum including Tchaikovsky and the Romantic Spirit which highlights the Romantic period; Musical Postcards, a journey into exotic lands and rituals; concluding with “Pomp & Circumstance:”  English Splendour featuring British music with its distinct character, reflecting the noble air and nostalgia of a great empire. 2014Jul24 LBS Orchestra

Classical Series performances are held on Sundays at 4:00 pm in the Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center, 3302 Robert Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Reserved seat tickets are $20 – $50 and discounted season packages are available.

Sunday, September 28, 2014 – Beethoven’s Ninth featuring chorus and vocal soloists

Ravel…………………………….. Le Tombeau de Couperin

Beethoven…………………….. Symphony No. 9

Sunday, November 9, 2014 – Tchaikovsky and the Romantic Spirit featuring Ken Olsen, cello soloist

Brahms…………………………. Academic Festival Overture

Victor Herbert………………. Cello Concerto No. 2

Tchaikovsky………………….. Symphony No. 4

Sunday, January 25, 2015 – Musical Postcards featuring Daria Rabotkina, piano soloist

Chabier…………………………. España

Mendelssohn………………… Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”)

Ravel…………………………….. Piano Concerto in G

Rimsky-Korsakov………….. Russian Easter Overture

Sunday, March 8, 2015 – “Pomp & Circumstance:”  English Splendour  featuring Jessica Lee, violin soloist

Elgar……………………………… Pomp & Circumstance March No. 4

Vaughan Williams…………. Norfolk Rhapsody

Britten………………………….. Variations on a Theme of Purcell (Young Person’s Guide)

Walton…………………………. Violin Concerto

The Chamber Orchestra Series features a smaller, more intimate orchestral performance beginning with the traditional holiday “sampler” of seasonal masterpieces and concluding with an enthralling variety of classics for string, woodwind and brass ensembles, as well intriguing works for other instrumental combinations.  Chamber concerts are presented throughout the Grand Strand and general admission tickets are $20 each.  Discounted season packages are available.

Musical Classics for the Holiday Season

December 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach

December 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm Wheelwright Auditorium CCU

and 7:00 pm Our Lady Star of the Sea, North Myrtle Beach

Smaller Treasures: Masterpieces from the Chamber Repertory

May 16, 2015 at 7:00 pm Trinity Church, Myrtle Beach

May 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm All Saints Church, Pawleys Island

The Pops Series promises to be another audience-pleaser.  On October 18th the Long Bay Symphony presents Movie Music Spectacular: The Music of John Williams including music selections from movie hits such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, E.T., Schindler’s List and more!  In April, “Back Home Again” – A Tribute to John Denver featuring Tom Becker (former member of the legendary folk group, The New Christy Minstrels) and his band bring back the foot stomping fun of John Denver’s music in an uplifting and powerful tribute to one of America’s most beloved singer/songwriters.2014Jul24 Pops Concert 2014Apr

The Pops concerts are presented at two locations and times.  Reserved seat tickets are $35 – $50 and discounted season packages are available.

Movie Music Spectacular: The Music of John Williams

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm, Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center

Back Home Again” – A Tribute to John Denver

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm, Myrtle Beach High School Music & Arts Center

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm, Winyah Auditorium, Georgetown, SC

Maestro Charles Evans looks forward to presenting this exciting season.  Be sure to experience the unparalleled power and beauty of live orchestral music, expertly performed by professional musicians!  For tickets, please call 843.448.8379 or order online at

 Educational Programs

In addition to regular concerts, the symphony offers other educational programs for students, schools and the community since music is vital to maximizing a child’s full potential.  Students who participate in the arts outperform those who do not participate on virtually every measure.1   The Long Bay Symphony’s Young People’s Concert and the Musicians in the Schools programs are designed to encourage students to join their school orchestra or band, further explore music, and eventually participate in the Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra.

In November each year, the Long Bay Symphony presents a Young Peoples Concert for fourth and fifth grade students from area schools to introduce symphonic music and the concert experienceThe Musicians in the School program sends individual musicians into the classrooms of area elementary schools for an up close performance of symphonic music, look at the instruments and explanation of how the instruments make sounds and the types of music performed.

The Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra, founded in 1990, serves to further the music education, talent development and social experiences of 60 – 75 students.  These talented young musicians, ages 9 through 22, are selected through auditions each August then rehearse weekly to prepare for three large concerts presented during the school year.

About The Long Bay Symphony

Founded in 1987, the Long Bay Symphony performs about 15 concerts each year in addition to fundraising events for other organizations.  It is the largest performing arts organization in the Grand Strand area and the largest professional orchestra in the region.  Musicians come from other professional orchestras, and local communities as well as Columbia, Charleston, Fayetteville, Wilmington and beyond.

The mission of the Long Bay Symphony is to enhance the cultural and artistic environment of the Long Bay region by providing the highest quality musical performances and programs which entertain and educate patrons of all ages.   A key component of its efforts is the educational programming for both young people and adults in the community.  The symphony is supported about 35% by ticket revenue, with the balance from business and individual giving, foundation and municipal grants, and operating support from the S.C. Arts Commission.